Engineering construction industry union members accept new national employment agreement

Trade union members in the engineering construction industry have voted to accept a new national employment agreement from the sector’s main employers’ body.

The vote came after the Unite union recommended the new deal proposed by the Engineering Construction Industry Association, stating that it would address many of the grievances that workers have recently experienced.

The agreement prohibits employers from hiring non-UK labour at a site before unions have been formally advised in a reasonable timescale. This clause follows wildcat strikes at Lindsey oil refinery and other power plants earlier this year over the use of foreign workers.

All vacancies on long-term and maintenance repair projects will also have to be advertised via local jobcentres for three days and then UK-wide for a further two days before it can be advertised overseas. Any contractor using overseas labour will have to comply with UK health and safety legislation and all terms of the national agreement, including rates of pay, welfare provision and trips home.

Unite’s assistant general secretary, Les Bayliss, said: “We are pleased that our members have accepted the deal which we believe provides an opportunity for stability in an industry that has been plagued by unrest, thanks to certain unscrupulous employers.”

The union said it would be working closely with employers to ensure that the two-year agreement was implemented.

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