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Strike hits construction of Viridor EfW plant

Dozens of workers constructing an energy-from-waste plant for Viridor have gone on strike for two days over a long-running pay dispute at the £155m project in Glasgow.

Around 70 labourers and scaffolders employed by constructor Interserve at the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC) decided to down tools in the latest move in a pay row dating back to last June.

The Unite workers claim they are earning up to £5 an hour less than more recently hired workers, who are paid under the National Agreement for the Engineering and Construction Industry (NAECI) pay rates.

They say Interserve first employed them 18 months ago under the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) nationally agreed pay rates, which can be £4-£5 per hour below the NAECI wages.

Unite said it was taking the strike action after Interserve rejected its calls for pay parity for the workers employed under the CIJC on 21 April.

Interserve won the contract for the plant in 2012. When completed, it will handle 200,000 tonnes a year of Glasgow’s residual waste.

Around 300-400 workers are currently on-site, and the plant is expected to be completed later this year.

Unite regional officer Stephen Deans said: “What appears to have happened is that Interserve employed the workers going on strike on the CIJC rate.

“But the firm and their subcontractors are paying new workers at the higher nationally NAECI-agreed rate or greater.

“They have had to employ people from across Scotland and even from outside the country, so have had to pay more to attract the travelling workforce.

“We are calling for pay parity for all workers.

“We had a meeting with the Interserve management on Thursday and they refused to consider pay parity. This is very disappointing.”

An Interserve spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed that industrial action has been called. This is a multi-contractor site where employees are paid the appropriate rates for the associated trades and Interserve is aligned with this policy.”

  • This article is adapted from a story appearing in sister title Construction News

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