UNITE members have won the first battle in a fight against deskilling electricians at Somerset’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, the construction union said today. Union reps stepped in after two training standards were introduced by the Engineering Construction Training Board (ECITB) that Unite said would undermine the role of electricians at the £20 billion site currently under construction. The union said this was done without its input or agreement. Rank-and-file members occupied the offices of EDF Energy, the French state-owned company which runs the project, threatening to blockade the site. As a result of the protests, EDF has announced it has put the plans on hold with all training in this area, supplied by contractors NG Bailey and Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick, now postponed until a long-term solution is reached. The disputed standards relate to cabling and containment work, the “bread and butter” work for electricians on new-build construction projects.
Morning Star 2nd March 2021 read more »