Socialist Worker

Protests win on construction deskilling

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2759

Protesting in March

Protesting in March (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Construction bosses have withdrawn the latest attempt to deskill the industry.

A Balfour Beatty/NG Bailey joint venture and client EDF have U-turned on a plan to use “deskilled” workers for electrical jobs at Hinkley Point C.

Electricians staged protests for 15 weeks over plans to hire a lower grade of electrical worker that would carry out tasks such as containment. Unite the union said such activities were the “bread and butter” of electricians’ work.

Unite entered talks in March about the new grades and they were put on hold.

Balfour Beatty and NG Bailey said they remain committed to the Joint Industry Board (JIB) agreement and the training of fully qualified electricians.

The main electrical works have yet to start on the Hinkley Point C project.

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