Strike action at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been averted after a “landmark” agreement was reached regarding the pay of civil engineers.
Workers on civil engineering projects at the Somerset power station will receive pay 36% above the minimum pay rates agreed by the Construction Industry Joint Council, and will receive back pay from the period between 1 January and 31 May this year, according to Unite the Union.
Union members balloted for industrial action in Sepetember this year following the drawn-out dispute which centred around pay for workers on civil engineering contracts which Unions said were below the rates of those covered by the mechanical and engineering (M&E) contract.
Hinkley Point C programme and construction delivery director Nigel Cann confirmed a deal had been reached.
He said: “Following lengthy negotiations with employers and the Trade Unions, we are very pleased that the union members have voted to accept our offer.
“We are proud that our civils workforce will now benefit from a reward package which is both ‘best in class’ and affordable. We have created great facilities at Hinkley Point C and offer all our workers an opportunity to personally grow and develop.
“We share a commitment with the trade unions and our contract partners to provide the best standards in health, safety and welfare, in tandem with the highest standards of quality and productivity as we work together to deliver this vital project.”
The negotiations were between the unions Unite and GMB, and client EDF and the Laing O’Rourke and Bouyques joint venture Bylor.
Unite regional secretary, Peter Hughes said: “This is a landmark agreement which will now set the benchmark for pay rates on flagship construction projects throughout the UK.
“The pay rates agreed at Hinkley Point will provide a significant boost to the local economy and together with the ambitious apprenticeship programme on the project, will generate much needed skills boost and investment in the south west region.
“The determination of EDF to broker a deal was critical in ensuring the pay negotiations were satisfactorily resolved.”
Unite’s lead convenor at Hinkley Point Malcolm Davies added he is hopeful they are entering a “period of industrial harmony.”