Jobs for local workers at Viridor’s new Dunbar plant

Construction work on the new energy recovery facility at Dunbar started last month
Construction work on the new energy recovery facility at Dunbar started last month

Union concerns that local workers will not get the chance to work on the construction of Viridor’s new £177 million waste energy plant at Dunbar are refuted by the company.

The Unite union has called on the Scottish Goverment to ensure that ‘social dumping’ is avoided at the Viridor site after they discovered that Viridor had sub-contracted work to Danish firm Babcock & Wilcox Volund.

Unite national officer Bernard McAulay said: “We want the Scottish Government to bring all parties to the table and ensure Viridor and its sub-contractors sign-up to our national trade agreement or a specific project agreement.

“The exclusion of local firms and labour from this lucrative mechanical and engineering contract runs roughshod over our long-standing collective agreements and undercuts decent terms and conditions of employment for everyone.”

Unite regional officer Scott Foley added: “This isn’t in the interests of local economic growth and sustainability, nor do we believe that the Scottish Government seriously supports the view that migrant labour should be exploited on low-pay to the detriment of Scottish workers.

However, Viridor say that excluding local firms and labour simply hasn’t happened.

Viridor spokesman Martin Grey, said: “Viridor’s £177m merchant investment at Dunbar, East Lothian, is part of £357m invested in next generation Scottish recycling and green energy infrastructure.

“With investment in infrastructure comes investment in communities and Viridor has a strong record at Dunbar, delivering local employment, supply chain and education opportunities. In addition to already working with East Lothian Council’s economic development team, established programmes such as our partnership with the Engineering Development Trust are already in place to maximise skilled and professional opportunities for young people.”

Mr Grey added that the contractor held a series of recruitment and ‘meet the buyer’ events in July and have made two major subcontract awards to Scottish companies, Fairhurst consulting engineers and Land Engineering, with stone for the earthworks sourced from within East Lothian.