HS2 JV and Sizewell C make union agreements

Two megaprojects have signed agreements with trade unions.

After a two-year campaign, the Unite union has secured access to HS2’s Old Oak Common railway station site, which is run by a Balfour Beatty/Vinci/Systra joint venture known as BBVS JV.

Meanwhile, Sizewell C announced it had signed agreements to provide “best-in-class” conditions for its workers on the new nuclear power station, in conjunction with the GMB and Unite.

The Old Oak Common agreement means union reps can visit inductions, speak to workers during their breaks and use site rest facilities when visiting.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This agreement is the culmination of two years of relentless campaigning by Unite to gain formal access to the Old Oak Common site.

Construction workers can now speak directly to Unite about all employment and safety concerns.

“Unite is now in a stronger position to help defend and improve jobs, pay and conditions for HS2 workers at Old Oak Common.”

A statement from the union said it had agreements in place with four of the five JV contractors working on HS2, with only the Skanska/Costain/Strabag (SCS) JV refusing to grant it the same access.

Unite regional officer Declan Murphy said the union would turn its “complete attention” to securing an agreement with SCS JV.

Sizewell C, which is still awaiting funding to start the project, announced the signing of three solidarity agreements between the client company, tier one contractors and GMB and Unite.

The agreements set out the nuclear power station client’s intention to promote a strong safety culture while providing workers with the highest possible standards of health, safety and welfare services.

Sizewell C also committed to offering high-standard accommodation and promoting a diverse and inclusive working environment.

The agreements describe the standards and behaviours expected of everyone involved in building Sizewell C, including a “right first time, every time” approach to construction.

Sizewell C joint managing director Nigel Cann said: “Sizewell C is one of the most important energy projects in the UK and we want it to be one of the best places to work. These balanced agreements will help build a spirit of partnership by giving everyone on the project common goals and clear working arrangements.”

The tier one contractors appointed to Sizewell C’s civils works alliance so far are Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke and Bouygues Travaux Publics.

Contractors in its mechanical, electrical and heating alliance are Altrad Services, Altrad Babcock, Cavendish Nuclear, Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick, NG Bailey and Bilfinger Piping Technologies UK.

Other contractors joining the project will be expected to sign the agreements, a statement from Sizewell C said.

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