Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Traffic Hit as Protests Go on over Pay for Workers

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Traffic Hit as Protests Go on over Pay for Workers

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Hughes Business reporter laura.love@trinitymirror.com

PROTESTORS gathered at a Teesside factory as a long-running industrial row continued.

Motorists were hit by delays on the A174 while police officers again attended the protest at Wilton to "minimise wider disruption to the community and maintain order". Campaigners claim SITA Sembcorp UK is not conforming with nationally agreed terms and conditions by predominantly employing foreign workers and paying them less than those rates agreed with British workers.

Sita says it is investigating these claims and will report back on this.

Unions first raised concerns over the conditions linked to the construction of a PS250m energy plant at Wilton in November last year.

Safety and pay concerns at other plants, including Sellafield in Cumbria, have already led to a mass walkout in a separate protest, so some of the 1,300 workers there were planning to use their day away from their own site to back the Wilton action.

Unite's regional office Steve Cason said: "Construction workers fear they could go the way of the shipbuilders, dockers and miners if they don't do something about it.

"All we ask it that the company agrees to a wages audit - I suspect that would stop the action now."

A SITA Sembcorp UK spokesman also again rejected the protestors' claims.

He said: "It has always been our position that we are prepared to investigate any allegations that are put before us.

"Following a site visit that was arranged for unions in August, further allegations were made in respect of pay. We are now in the process of investigating these claims and will report back to the unions in due course. In the meantime, it is disappointing to see a continuation of protests whilst these investigations are ongoing and difficult to determine what they hope to achieve. …

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