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Posted on 26 May 2009 at 0:00 GMT

An action plan for all sites

Despite the recession, there is predicted to be significant growth in the engineering construction industry over the next decade due to the decommissioning of power stations and the building of a new generation of nuclear power stations.

Alistair Tice

Industry employers want to bring in cheap foreign labour to undermine the NAECI national agreement and drive down wages and costs to boost their profits. This has been met by the determined resistance of construction workers taking unofficial and illegal strikes at Lindsey Oil Refinery in January and February this year and now South Hook, backed each time by solidarity action across a majority of sites.

Union leaders are currently in negotiations with the employers' organisation about reviewing the NAECI for 2010. A fourth meeting takes place on 3 June which will be followed by a long awaited NAECI stewards' national meeting in Manchester on 5 June. This will hear a report back on negotiations and decide what action to take.

So far the trade union officials have dragged their feet but after the latest unofficial strikes they fear losing control. "It shocked me," Alun Rappell, GMB Wales regional organiser told the Financial Times (22 May) "I asked them to hold fire until Friday to allow this company [time], but overnight word of mouth got from site to site to site."

And Phil Davies, GMB sector national secretary said in relation to an official ballot: "I think that's the way we have to go. Then we have control over it, it's going to be done in a proper manner and it's going to be done legally."

Socialist Party members and supporters in the industry call for:
If these demands are not met, then we propose that the NAECI stewards' national meeting adopt the following action plan:

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