Union fighting for Sheffield recruitment

GMB and Unite workers protest at the enrtrance to Blackburn 'Meadows
GMB and Unite workers protest at the enrtrance to Blackburn 'Meadows
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DOZENS of trade unionists gathered for a demonstration at the site of Sheffield’s new Blackburn Meadows power station - demanding bosses stick to a pledge that 50 per cent of construction staff are locally-recruited.

Members of the GMB and Unite unions, which represent engineering workers, were given an assurance by power company E.On and its Swiss contractor, Andritz.

But the unions say a subcontractor, Leicestershire-based PJD, has not repeated the same commitment and not allowed them to have shop stewards on the site.

PJD, which is building boilers at the power station, says it has started a local recruitment process.

Between 50 and 100 jobs will be created during the construction process for the boilers at the £120 million power station development.

Chris Weldon, a Sheffield councillor and regional officer for Unite, said: “We have been in negotiations with E.On and Andritz for the last six months.

“E.On facilitated a meeting for us with PJD but they told us they weren’t going to allow us shop stewards on site and would meet the union when they saw fit.

“Of particular concern is ensuring that 50 per cent of the workers on the project are recruited locally.

“We have a large proportion of our members in this area who are out of work at present.”

Nick Evans, director of business development for PJD, said: “We are trying to recruit local people for the contract and have started our recruitment process.”

E.On added: “PJD are already in discussion with relevant unions and remain committed to employing as much local labour as possible.”