Fears Dundee incinerator construction jobs will go to foreign contractors

Trade unions are demanding the contract to build a new £100 million incinerator at Baldovie does not go overseas.

The new incinerator will convert waste from Dundee City and Angus councils into energy, some of which will be piped into the nearby Michelin factory.

It could also eventually provide power for nearby homes.

The GMB and Unite unions say they fear the company behind the development, German-owned MVV Environmental Services Ltd, may hire an overseas contractor whose employees are willing to work for less money than Scottish tradesmen.

They claim this practice, called “social dumping”, occurred during the construction of two other energy-from-waste plants built in Scotland. Neither plant is operated by MVV.

The German company currently operates one UK plant in Plymouth. The contractor used during its construction was Bedfordshire-based firm, Kier.

Around 300 jobs are expected to be created during the three years it takes to build the new Dundee incinerator.

Gary Cook, Scotland officer for the GMB and David Lawson, regional officer for Unite, have written to Dundee City Council leader John Alexander about their concerns.

Additionally, they will meed MVV managing direction Paul Carey on January 18 to discuss the issue.

Their letter to Mr Alexander states: “The Engineering Construction Project will take up to three years and will employ up to 300 workers during its construction.

“The value of the project is around £100 million and when completed it will manage an estimated 70,000 to 90,000 tonnes of waste per year.

“Our reason for contacting you is that similar EfW projects in Scotland have not been being built in adherence to the National Agreement for the Engineering and Construction Industry , known commonly as the ‘Blue Book’.

“Moreover the operating companies have appointed Polish, Croatian and Romanian companies to carry out the construction work at these projects, to the exclusion of local or UK-wide skilled workers on all trades, with the exception of initial ground-work roles (civil engineering).

“We have seen and have evidence of social dumping at Dunbar, although on the face of it they meet the Scottish Government’s procurement policy and the living wage standards.

“But the reality is that the terms and conditions are well below the recognised Engineering and Construction Industry’s rates.”

The unions said they would be campaigning to ensure local workers are not priced out of a job.

The letter states: “Over the coming weeks and months, we will be campaigning rigorously to halt these abuses, which have seen unemployed engineering and construction workers in Scotland denied the opportunity of even applying for a job.

“This is a scandal that must stop.”

Mr Carey was unavailable for comment.