Redcar : Sita denies low pay claims as protesters gather

Protest march through Redcar against Sita's employment policies at its new Wilton site
Protest march through Redcar against Sita’s employment policies at its new Wilton site

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Redcar to voice concerns over jobs at a major new power plant.

Representatives from the Unite, GMB and UCATT unions protested in Redcar town centre.

It followed previous protests at the Wilton International Site near Redcar over the rate of pay given to foreign workers at the new £250m Sita facility.

Concerns have also been raised that the company was recruiting predominantly from overseas and was not adhering to nationally agreed terms and conditions.

Michael Blench, an officer for the GMB, said:

“The main reason for today is to keep up the pressure on Sita and Sembcorp, who are the landlords of the site.”

 

He added: “The ideal outcome from my point of view is that the site will be finished with the workforce that is there and that what we are doing sends a message.

“This situation hasn’t happened in the way we would have liked but the important thing is that if Sita ever came back to this area, they know our position from the start.

“This is a message for the future.”

Steve Cason, North-east regional officer for construction at Unite, added: “All we want to see is equality and fairness across the board.”

But Sita has denied claims made by the protesters and says it is paying the correct, nationally agreed rates to its employees.

A spokesman for the company said:

“Allegations continue to be made about the employment of foreign workers at the Wilton 11 construction site, including claims about low rates of pay and accommodation allowances.

“We continue to refute all of these allegations and there’s no evidence to support any of these claims.”

He added:

“Since construction began, a significant proportion of workers on site have been from the local area and we have made significant efforts to try and promote job opportunities to local workers. This included the organisation of a jobs fair at Redcar and Cleveland College on Thursday 19 February, to which 774 people attended.

“However, it is still necessary for a proportion of workers on site to be from wider European Union member states and it would be difficult to deliver a project of this nature without them.

“Energy-from-waste facilities require a great deal of specialist equipment which has had to be sourced from within the wider European Union. These elements are of a bespoke and sophisticated nature, meaning that some of our suppliers choose to use their own specialist and experienced workforce when they are fitted.

“All workers on site, regardless of their nationality, are employed because of their individual skills and abilities. They have a legal entitlement to work in the UK and contribute to the local economy while they are here, furthermore there is no substance to allegations that they are employed on site as a means of sourcing cheap labour.”

Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 18 Apr 2015

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One comment

  1. Chris

    ANOTHER TAX AVOIDANCE SYSTEM EVEN BIGGER THAN THE FEW SUPER RICH

    …about low rates of pay and accommodation allowances. ..

    A question needs to be asked by the trade unions.

    Are these workers within the salary sacrifice system, that pays part wages and part in expenses (latter deductions for admin costs) that means firms avoid paying PAYE tax and National Insurance contributions for each such worker?

    This is the biggest tax avoidance system in the UK, denying the government billions in taxes that could have paid for the NHS.

    ALTERNATIVE TO VOTE FOR IN REDCAR

    Redcar has a North East Party candidate running, who offers:

    A Fair Share Of The Country’s Prosperity
    Council tax will be scrapped and replaced with a fair property tax based on up to date
    property values returning £500 million to North East people per annum.
    Council Tax Band ‘D’ in Durham costs £1686, in Westminster £681.

    A Fair Deal Within The UK
    An extra £1billion per annum for services with
    free care for older people just the same as Scotland.

    Armed Forces Covenant. The North East Party wants to protect the pensions of all those who have served in UK Armed Forces and provide all assistance to enable them to build new careers in civilian life.
    See petition on Change.org about soldiers being short-changed on their military pensions, just when the wife is losing the state pension:
    https://www.change.org/p/pm-david-cameron-keep-your-promise-to-our-troops-compensate-service-personnel-made-compulsorily-redundant-close-to-pension-point

    See the petition about the wife losing most or all state pension for retirement from 2016, and reasons why at end of my petition in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section at:
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    IN A HUNG PARLIAMENT THE TORIES ARE OBLIGED TO STAY IN POWER BY THE RULES

    …No Party will have an overall majority and there may have to be considerable negotiation with smaller parties in order to create an effective Government. In these circumstances a few, or even one, North East Party Members of Parliament could hold enormous power to bargain for the new legislation that the North East needs. (NORTH EAST PARTY).

    326 MP minimum threshold to form a UK parliament.

    No so-called big party will reach that number of MPs.

    So The Tories will have to remain in power, by the rules, in a caretaker government.

    So the North East Party can be part of a group of small parties that will be the only effective opposition to the Tories.

    THE MPs MOSTLY DID NOT WIN IN 2010
    MOST VOTERS DID NOT VOTE

    18,955 vote win for Lib Dems in 2010

    25,164 did not vote in 2010

    13,741 votes wasted on Labour in 2010 when have not been an effective opposition to the cruellest Tory government ever.

    There is no such thing as a small party in this election on Thursday 7 May.

    The trade unions might better encourage voters to vote North East Party in REDCAR and wherever else in the north east the party is running.

    Each MP different gained, is effective opposition to a permanent Tory government.

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