Construction workers demand fair access to jobsBy Jennifer Cockerell
March 24, 2009
Unemployed construction workers will stage a demonstration outside a power station today to demand fair access to jobs amid the ongoing row over the use of foreign labour.
Workers are expected to gather outside Grain Power Station on the Isle of Grain, near Rochester, Kent, in the latest in a series of protests over claims jobs are going to workers from overseas rather than from the UK.
Alstom has been contracted by power giant E.ON to build a new power station at Grain but demonstrators say that skilled workers are being denied the chance to apply for work.
They claim Alstom's Polish sub-contractors, Remak and ZRE, are refusing to consider applications from UK labourers for the estimated 450 jobs available over the course of the project.
Unite has called on the Government to insist that companies applying for contracts on public infrastructure projects, sign up to Corporate Social Responsibility agreements which commit to fair access for UK labour.
Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of Unite, said: "Unemployed construction workers are demonstrating today to demand fairness, not favours.
"These workers are not going away until they get a fair opportunity to secure work at the site.
"Alstom has the power to insist that the sub-contractors end this scandalous situation. UK-based labour must be given a fair chance to get a cut of the action to build a new generation of UK power stations.
"No European worker should be barred from applying for a British job and absolutely no British worker should be barred from applying for a British job."
The protest is due to take place between 6.30am and 9.00am.
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