100 workers walk off £200m Energy Works site in Hull after '15 staff made redundant'

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 2 May 2018

More than 100 workers at a troubled Hull site downed tools again this morning after it was alleged that 15 contractors were made redundant.

Energy Works , a huge £200m power plant being built in a site off Cleveland Street, has been hit with numerous problems during the construction stage, with workers repeatedly walking off site over safety fears.

Keith Gibson, GMB activist, speaks to the picket line outside Energy Works

On Tuesday morning, workers again took to their picket line in protest against redundancies and health and safety. Workers claimed the 15 staff were allegedly made redundant after raising safety concerns with bosses

Keith Gibson, one of those made redundant, claims the trigger was a “small explosion” on site last week.

He said: “There has been a number of incidents on site in terms of health and safety. Last week it culminated in a pipe joint giving way and it was like a small explosion.

“The lads walked off site because they felt it was a serious incident and later on in the day the M+W manager addressed us and said there was an investigation and that he would report back to us in the morning.

“We said they should have been proactive and brought the lads off immediately.”

There are around 100 people on the picket at Energy Works

The strike happened at the same time as another workforce at FCC Environment also went on strike, however the two are unconnected.

Mr Gibson said if workers are not reinstated today the strikes will continue until their employers give in to their demands.

“There are people who have travelled down to this dispute from Middlesbrough and other areas so it’s not just a local workforce and they are determined to get this resolved.

“But I would say if it isn’t resolved today we will be back here in the morning.

“This is important because we want to come to work safely and go home safely to the family.

“We have had enough of a lack of health and safety and managers saying they are not prepared to give lads sick pay. It’s basic rights.”

The latest action came just two weeks after the last strike action at Energy Works when staff abandoned work over a water leak.

In January, 300 workers formed a picket line over initial fears over safety.

Previously, M+W Group, principal contractor on the site, had said the safety of their workforce was its "top priority" and that the site had recently undergone a successful safety audit.

Keith Gibson, GMB activist

Energy Works has been approached for a new comment on today's strike action.

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