Page last updated at 14:54 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Union threats over UK power jobs

Staythorpe protest
The project has seen a number of demonstrations over workers rights

Union bosses are threatening legal action over job losses involving 160 British workers at a power station.

The GMB union made the threat after the workers at the Staythorpe plant, in Nottinghamshire, were given notice.

The union said not only had Alstom, which is building a new station, failed to give enough notice but non-British workers will be re-deployed.

The firm said workers were on temporary contracts. It added Polish staff would be used on a project in Poland.

Staythorpe, near Newark, has been at the centre of disputes over foreign workers and conditions since work began last year.

Financial penalty

Alstom, which is one of the main construction contractors on the project, has employed about 200 British and 200 Polish workers.

The GMB has said the 160 employees are facing redundancy in two weeks if the current plans go ahead.

Officials from the union claimed a 90-day consultation period had not been properly observed and added it was unfair that only British staff were affected.

Andy Fletcher from the GMB said: "What the GMB are arguing is that the UK workers should have the same right to apply for those jobs in Poland as the Polish workers do - we are just asking for fairness.

"In terms of where Alstom are currently, if they fail to consult meaningfully with the trade unions, they we will take them to court and the total cost to Alstom will be about half a million pounds. That is for failing to consult correctly."

Alstom said employees on the short term contracts had been given notice in August and as the Staythorpe project was peaking, the roles would soon not be needed.

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Staythorpe has been at the centre of disputes over foreign workers and conditions since work began last year.



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