EDF Energy, the GMB and Unite trade unions have reached a new labour agreement on pay and conditions of employment, including welfare facilities and training, for workers who will construct the proposed new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, the UK.
The agreement, which applies to electrical and mechanical workers, stipulates that there will be at least 500 well paid apprenticeships on the project and ensures agency electrical and mechanical workers will not be hired.
EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said the project is expected to create 25,000 construction jobs and 900 full-time jobs for operations.
Rivaz said: "It is important that these jobs are covered by an agreement promoting the very best standards in industrial relations. I am pleased that EDF Energy, Unite and GMB will work together to provide a high class work force for the construction of Hinkley Point C and help rebuild the nation’s nuclear industry."
The latest agreement builds on the success of similar agreements signed with unions in June 2013 for civil workers and an agreement reached to establish a framework for industrial relations for the project.
All these agreements represent the company’s commitment towards unions and contractors to ensure effective industrial relations that would enable safety, quality and productivity.
GMB national officer Phil Whitehurst said the engineering construction sector shop stewards have endorsed the latest agreement with a recommendation of acceptance submitted by the signatories.
The proposed Hinkley Point C plant, which received consent from the Department of Energy and Climate Change in March 2013, will feature two new reactors totalling up to 3,260MW, next to the existing Hinkley Point A and B stations.
In November 2012, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) had granted a nuclear site licence for the project, which will generate enough electricity to power around five million homes.
Image: Hinkley Point C will feature two nuclear reactors totalling 3,260MW in the UK. Photo: courtesy of EDF Energy.