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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 September 2015

'Pay the rate' construction protests continue on Teesside

Pay the rate protesters in Teesside, photo by Socialist Party

Pay the rate protesters in Teesside, photo by Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Protests have continued at the Wilton complex in Teesside over pay. SITA Sembcorp have laid off workers and replaced them with contractors who employ workers paid less than trade union agreed rates.

Unite, GMB and Ucatt have supported the construction workers who have been campaigning for all workers at the site to be paid the same rate with the same terms and conditions.

Promise

Teesside workers who managed to gain employment on the promise of two months' work have been told, after three weeks working on the site, that there is not enough work and the first of these workers was made redundant on 14 August.

At the same time a further 15 to 20 Eastern European workers have come onto the project and are being paid 5 an hour below the agreed rates for engineering construction workers.

This latest episode only galvanises the claims from the Teesside Construction Committee that migrants are being exploited in the name of profit while local workers are being overlooked in one of the highest unemployment areas in the UK.

Tony Seaman, a Unite activist, who has been involved in organising the protests has said: "We are protesting about the amount being paid to foreign workers on the job. There has been a perception that we are against foreign workers - we are not - we're simply against the fact that we are told they are being paid less than nationally agreed rates."

'Race to the bottom'

The North East region of the Socialist Party are supporting the protests and demand an end to the 'race to the bottom' and trade union agreed jobs, pay and conditions for all workers.

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In The Socialist 2 September 2015:


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