December 9 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Talks on pay and conditions for workers who will build a new multibillion-pound nuclear power station will be held tomorrow amid speculation that the project is about to receive the final go-ahead.
The government is expected to announce, possibly as early as tomorrow, that agreement has been reached with French energy giant EDF over the price of generating electricity from the Hinkley Point site in Somerset, which could also shed further light on the future of Sizewell C.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said at the weekend that Britain is set to secure tens of billions of pounds in investment from the Far East in a new generation of nuclear power stations.
Mr Davey said he believed that a “massive” wave of investment from China, Japan and Korea would secure UK’s power supply into the future.
Agreeing the so-called “strike price” for Hinkley Point has delayed the project, but industry sources said a deal is now close.
Officials from the GMB and other unions will meet EDF tomorrow to discuss an Engineering Construction agreement which will cover pay, terms and conditions on the huge project.
National officer Phil Whitehurst said: “Even though the Government has been deadlocked with EDF over the strike price, unions have been sensibly negotiating with EDF a ‘best in class’ agreement for the construction of Hinkley Point.”
Mr Whitehurst said the agreement was “ground-breaking”, giving increased levels of pay and the prospect of “harmonious” working relationships.
“We welcome EDF’s intention to buy into the need for investment, not only in the present workforce, but in apprentices to replace our already ageing workforce.
“This is very refreshing, and far better than the dark days of lack of investment by recent generations of governments and employers.”
It had been thought that Chancellor George Osborne would confirm the agreement during his current visit to China.
Two hundred jobs are set to be created after one of west Norfolk’s largest businesses was granted permission to expand its King’s Lynn facilities.