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Decision expected on power station strike action

Further talks will be held today over the long-running dispute between unions and the Britain’s power station contractors, with a decision expected as to whether a deal can be struck to avert nationwide strikes.

Unions have balloted workers for industrial action at sites including BP FPS Grangemouth and Ineos Grangemouth in Scotland, Sellafield, Shell UK Stanlow, Staythorpe RWE in England, Chevron in Pembroke and Aberthaw in south Wales – with a majority supporting plans to strike.

The talks follow months of unrest at sites around the country spurred by anger over access to new jobs for local workers as well as plans not to increase pay rates for 2010.

Unite’s assistant general secretary Les Bayliss, Unite’s assistant general secretary said: “[Today’s] meeting crucially decides whether the construction industry moves into an era of industrial peace or continued unrest.

“This is not about opposition to workers from outside the UK. This is about a level playing field for all workers, regardless of nationality.

“Workers also need action from the Government to ensure lasting changes to protect our national agreements. The way the posted workers directive is currently interpreted gives business precedence over labour.

“More needs to be done quickly and locally in the UK to redress the imbalance currently being experienced if we are to avoid more industrial action in defence of collective agreements.”