INEOS £60 Million Expansion Under Construction Sector Agreement A Lesson For Scottish Councils
GMB Scotland has today (Wednesday 12 September) welcomed a commitment from INEOS to adhere to a national agreement for engineering and construction workers as part of a £60 million expansion of its Grangemouth site.
And in a broadside to elected representatives across Scottish local government, GMB has called on councils awarding publicly funded engineering and construction contracts for the delivery of Energy from Waste (EfW) plants to learn lessons from the energy giant.
INEOS confirmed that it will invest in an additional furnace to support Grangemouth’s production capacity demands on the back of shale gas imports from the United States, and that construction will be delivered under the National Agreement for the Engineering and Construction Industry (NAECI) – commonly known as the ‘Blue Book’.
GMB believes it is an important reinforcement of minimum industry standards at a time when jobs, terms and conditions of engineering and construction workers are being undercut by procurement processes applied by councils like Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen for the delivery of EfW projects.
GMB Scotland Organiser Gary Cook said: “For the last two years we have been fighting to stop the undercutting of industry-wide agreements in the procurement and delivery of EfW projects across Scottish councils.
This investment by INEOS and their commitment to deliver this project in accordance with NAECI has set a timely example of best practice for our local authorities, some of whom persist in awarding contracts to firms that run roughshod over our hard-fought terms and conditions.
Bogus self-employment and social dumping are plagues across the UK engineering and construction sector, driving a 'race to the bottom' culture and eroding the tax base which we need to pay for our public services.
Yet councils in Scotland are awarding EfW contracts to companies who then sub-contract and sub-supply work to firms that practice and profit significantly from these abuses. Councils may claim it’s about the bottom line but it’s completely self-defeating.
We don’t need to look any further than the chaos of the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre at Polmadie - sub-contractors sacked, workers locked-out and costs overruns of nearly £100 million.
Councils should be committed to the Scottish Government’s Fair Work Agenda and best practice on procurement but when we have asked council leaders and officials to apply NAECI, trade unions have encountered nothing but intransigence. This has to stop immediately.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Gary Cook on 07712 677594 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.