Further pay protests at cement works

THE Oxwellmains cement works, Dunbar, is set to be the site of another protest over work and wages.

Picture: Flickr.com
Picture: Flickr.com

The Pay the Rate Protest is set for Thursday, April 7, from 6.30am.

It follows a previous protest by the Unite, GMB and Ucatt unions over wages for non-UK workers.

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Gordon Turner, a local resident and shop steward for Unite, said this week: “The reason we are protesting is the Scottish Office said at the time this plant was given the go ahead, that there would be jobs for local people to bring money into the community, hotels, along with shops, and apprenticeships.

“None of the above has happened. The contracts have been given to companies who have a poor reputation as employers allowing for social dumping and exploitation of foreign workers.

“For example recently on another project Croatian workers deployed there were paid a paltry 9€ per hour. This is equivalent to £6.93, which is less than the forthcoming £7.20 National Living wage and an eye watering 63.5% below the average industry rate.”

A response from Babcock and Wilcox, a firm blamed for looking to undermine agreements on pay, was expected at the time of going to press. A spokesperson previously said: “We are disappointed by Unite and GMB’s decision.

“Our contractors are selected upon careful evaluation, and while some are based in Europe, many are local businesses from around the site regions which will benefit from involvement in the projects.”

This story was taken from our sister paper, The Southern Reporter.