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Strike threat at Hinkley over bonus row

Hinkley Point C, EDF

Construction union Unite has warned of delays to Hinkley Point C construction work if workers vote to strike over bonuses.

Unite and the GMB are holding a consultative ballot of the 700-strong groundworks workforce at the beginning of May.

The unions say the dispute is about bonuses offered by the Bylor consortium, a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and Bouygues. The unions claim it is not “in line with the spirit” of the Hinkley Point C (HPC) civil construction agreement. EDF described the agreement as a “landmark” and said it was working to resolve the issue.

Last month New Civil Engineer reported that Unite had distributed a leaflet to its Hinkley members saying the Tier 1 contractors have asked EDF for an additional £250M to pay worker bonuses. Unite said it has been negotiating for six months for the civil engineering workers to receive a bonus or performance related sum, but has still not reached agreement with EDF.

Unite regional officer and chair of the HPC joint union committee Rob Miguel said: “If the consultative ballot eventually leads to a full-scale industrial action ballot, we could be looking at delays to the construction at Hinkley Point, which will be very expensive for the employers as hired-in plant and machinery will be lying idle.

“The scheme has already been plagued by delays over its financing and can’t afford any further interruptions.”

Bylor is carrying out the main civil engineering and construction contract valued at over £2bn.

An EdF Energy spokesman said in response: “We are committed to a continuing dialogue on this issue with our contractor and trade union partners. Discussions are ongoing and our intention is to reach a mutually acceptable outcome.

“We have a strong partnership in place with the trade unions based on a set of landmark agreements that include pay and productivity. We share a commitment with them and our contract partners to provide high quality employment standards, alongside the best standard in health, safety, quality and productivity.”

New Civil Engineer has contacted Bylor for a response. The dispute does not involve Kier Bam.

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