The Unions GMB and Unite have started to ballot members over the planned industrial action at the £18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power station. The two unions will be carrying out this consultative ballot of their 700-strong workforce as the groundwork is being prepared at the Somerset site. The ballot will close today and it is expected that the results will be released early next week.
Hinkley Point is a project that will create a nuclear power station in Somerset. The plant will generate 3,200 MWe by using two EPR reactors. The site is one of eight that the Government announced in 2010. The dispute that could lead to strike action relates to a failure of the BYLOR, which is a consortium that is made up of Bouygues TP and Laing O’Rourke. This consortium has failed to pay the bonus rate that was set out in the HPC Civil Construction agreement.
The other employer that is involved in the Hinkley point project is not a part of the negotiations at the minute. Kier Bam is not involved in the negotiation between BYLOR and the two unions. Both GMB and Unite suggest that the bonus rate that has been offered to the consortium is not enough to attract workers that are of the quality and skill level that is required to complete this project on time.
A representative for GMB has said that the offer that has been made to the workers is not acceptable and because of this the workers are being consulted in order to decide whether or not to proceed with industrial action. It is thought that the bonus offer that has been made could lead to health and safety problems on the site, with the work quality of workers attracted to carry out the work. It is because of this that the unions are contemplating strike action.