UK biofuel construction workers protest against BP

Biofuel construction workers 'thrown on the scrap heap' vented their anger outside BP's annual general meeting yesterday (April 14).

Jimmy Stuart of the GMB

Jimmy Stuart of the GMB

More than 400 workers protesters at BP's AGM claiming to have been sacked by a sub-contractor of BP, who together with Du Point and British Sugar, form a consortium called Vivergo Fuels which is building a £200 million biofuel ethanol plant in Saltend Hull.

The workforce building the plant was employed by a range of contractors, with Redhall Engineering Solutions awarded the contract for mechanical piping with 316 manual workers and 134 staff workers.

Vivergo Fuels, in early March, told Redhall it was no longer a subcontractor and the workers were to be transferred under TUPE legislation to either Vivergo Fuels itself or another contractor.

However, when the workers turned up the next day the transfers had not taken place, so they've been effectively locked out without pay for more than a month.

Speaking outside BP's AGM in London's Excel Centre Jimmy Stuart from the GMB union said the construction workers 'had been put out on the scrap heap' by BP.

"BP is starting to talk, but they're not going in for meaningful discussions they're stalling.

"We urge BP to recognise these workers have employment rights and we urge them to bring these people back to work."

Talks convened by ACAS in Wakefield last weekend broke down and the GMB claim construction on the plant will not be able to continue until the workers are reinstated.

A spokesman for BP said, despite the protests, the contract talks 'had nothing' to do with the oil giant.

Luke Walsh




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