Win! Hinkley bosses back down in deskilling dispute, sparks promise future action

Unite members protest at EDF offices. Image by @GuySmallman

Unite members have won the first battle in their war against deskilling electricians.

The union stepped in after it was discovered two training standards had been introduced at Hinkley Point by the Engineering Construction Training Board (ECITB) that would undermine the role of the electrician, without the union’s input or agreement.

Rank-and-file members occupied the offices of EDF Energy, and threatened to blockade the Somerset nuclear power station site. As a result of the protests, EDF has announced it has put the plans on hold.

A statement from Unite’s Electrical and Mechanical Combine said: “We welcome the news from Hinkley Point that all training courses will cease until our dispute has been resolved. We also appreciate the statement of support from our general secretary, Len McCluskey. This does not mean that this dispute is almost over, far from it.

“Our focus now turns to NG Bailey and Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick. We will be targeting these companies on a weekly basis at their offices, their sites, their supply chain and their governance, both here in the UK and overseas.

“We demand that a statement is sent out from Baileys and Balfours with a clear and unambiguous proclamation that they will withdraw from the training standards CPSO1 and CCSO1 at Hinkley Point, and that they will cease their immediate attacks on the skillset of electricians and other trades immediately and forever.

“For over 30 years we have had to endure the deskilling agenda of major electrical contractors. Each time we have responded and each time these companies have been forced into retreat. But they keep coming back.

“We will not tolerate these attacks any longer. If this statement is not unequivocal, then Balfours et al will become legitimate targets for further indiscriminate actions. We will not go away.”

  • Like this story? Please support our work here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.