By John Millington
Over 100 workers demonstrated outside the Capenhurst construction plant this morning, claiming that bosses were set to cut their 100 pound weekly bonus.
Urenco Ltd who run the Capenhurst site in Chester along with contractor Jacobs, are attempting to “renege” on bonus payments and dispute resolution procedures, which are part of a key national agreement for the construction industry, say the Unite union.
The NAECI agreement which has been in existence for more than 30 years, sets terms and conditions for construction workers and forms the basis for peaceful industrial relations.
However union officials say that bosses are hell-bent on removing a 100 pound weekly bonus which is only given when workers meet certain levels of productivity.
Speaking to from the protest outside the construction site, Unite Regional Officer Steve Benson said:
“The bonus is based on productivity. It is an incentive to get the job done on time. And if no one has an accident, that is part of the bonus. It is all part of the national agreement.
“Management are now saying that they can’t guarantee that.”
Mr Benson said he was also worried about provision for dispute resolution within the NAECI – also known as the “blue book,” being undermined.
Unite shop steward and construction worker John Bernia said the loss of the weekly £100 bonus was unacceptable and that families would suffer as a result.
“We’re in recession now and the employers probably want to tighten their belts. But we can’t let that happen,” he vowed.
“We will defend these hard fought agreements. We need tradesman to have a decent standard of living and want fruitful negotiations with management.”
Although unions have insisted they want a quick resolution to the dispute, further action at other sites is expected in the coming weeks with industrial action not being ruled out.
Jacobs was the company at the centre of the Lindsey Oil refinery protests, which took place in 2009 and saw mass unofficial walkouts by staff.
URENCO’s operates in the nuclear supply industry and its principal activity according to its website “is the provision of a service to enrich uranium to provide fuel for nuclear power utilities.”
* Trade unionists in Cardiff also held a protest this morning over blue book changes.
- Jacobs press office were contacted and referred me to Unrenco as they run the site
- Unrenco Limited have been contacted…. MORE TO FOLLOW