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Construction workers protest at Ratcliffe power station

Construction workers, who face up to 30% pay cuts because rogue employers are de-skilling their industry, will be demonstrating at Ratcliff power station in Nottingham on Friday 7 October 2011.

Several hundred construction workers, members of the country’s largest trade union, Unite, will be staging their protest outside Ratcliffe power station, Ratcliffe-on-Soar, Nottinghamshire, between 6am and 8am.

Ratcliff power station has been targeted as one of its contractors, Spie Matthew Hall, is just one of a group of breakaway construction companies that are imposing semi-skilled grades into the mechanical and electrical sector.

Unite Regional Officer, Steve Syson, said: “By protesting outside Ratcliffe power station, construction workers will be showing their employers just how fired up they are at the threat to de-skill their jobs and cut their pay by a third. If these companies get away with this attack our members won't be able to pay for their mortgages or support their families.

"Construction workers have made it clear they will not accept a pay cut. They have been protesting for weeks and will not stop until their employers have returned to the negotiating table for a constructive dialogue."

Workers in five of the seven breakaway companies have been written to by their managers with a stark choice; sign new contracts on inferior pay, and terms and conditions, or face unemployment on 7 December.

The employers want to withdraw from five long-held agreements and replace them with a new agreement that will allow employers to introduce semi-skilled grades and dictate rather than negotiate on pay, holiday entitlement, overtime, and what constitutes ‘away work’.

However, five of the seven have ‘upped the stakes’. Balfour Beatty, Crown House Technologies, Spie Matthew Hall, Shepherd Engineering Services and NG Bailey have issued Unite with legal notice of their intention to dismiss, with notice, thousands of employees before re-engaging them on new inferior contracts.

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