Sizewell C Second Consultation: Jobs and Employment

I have written several times about the affect on employment of new nuclear build:

This is just some further points about employment rights and Edf. Most of the work for this has been done by Emma with only minor editing my myself.

The consultation document places a great deal of emphasise on the job opportunities the power station could provide. Edf has been severely criticised by representatives of its own workforce who are wary of going ahead with Hinkley given the financial difficulties the company faces. On July 28, EDF’s board voted 10 to 7 to proceed with the project. All six staff representatives and one other board member voted against, while one board member resigned in protest against EDF’s strategy.

In August 2016 worker representatives on the board filed a challenge to overturn the company’s controversial decision to build the reactors. They protested against the participation of several directors “with conflicts of interests”, claiming that some of the EDF board members who voted in favour of Hinkley Point represent companies that are EDF customers and could benefit from the UK contract. 1

EDF board member Colette Lewiner is also on the board of construction firm Bouygues.2

Bouygues is one of the main contractors at the Flamanville plant in France and a joint venture of Bouygues TP and Laing O’Rourke (BYLOR) has been confirmed as preferred delivery partner for the main civil engineering and construction contract at Hinkley3.

in 2011 as the result of a fatal accident at Flamanville the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) investigated the working conditions overseen by Bouygues at the site. They found that there were serious breaches in safety and that numerous industrial accidents had not been declared.

In 2015 in one of the biggest ever court cases of its kind Bouygues was found guilty of serious violations of labour laws. Social security contributions of more than 460 foreign employees had been deducted from the workers pay but had not been paid to the tax authorities which led to workers being left without pensions and health care entitlement either in France or in their home countries4.


1 EDF union board members file challenge to annul Hinkley Point vote, Reuters, 31 Aug 2016 (http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-edf-britain-nuclear-cgt-idUKKCN11617T)
2 Bouygues, Vallourec deny conflict of interest in Hinkley Point vote, Reuters, 10 August 2016 (http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-edf-britain-idUKKCN10L22N)
3 Press Release: Hinkley Point C progress, Laing O’Rouke (http://www.laingorourke.com/media/news-releases/2015/hinkley-point-c-progress.aspx)
4 Procès en appel de Bouygues à Flamanville pour fraude au travail détaché, Challenges, 7 November 2016 (http://www.challenges.fr/emploi/proces-en-appel-de-bouygues-a-flamanville-pour-fraude-au-travail-detache_437421)

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6 Responses to “Sizewell C Second Consultation: Jobs and Employment”

  • meran says:

    nice information. May I share this?

  • robertok6 says:

    Peter:

    the giant conglomerate Bouygues builds reactors, hydroelectric power dams, large PV installations and also offshore wind.
    It is up to the local authorities to make sure that the proper conduct in terms of work ethics and rules is applied to contractors of all levels. EdF is not the law… EdF (or whoever else builds it) has to follow what the department of labour tells it to do. It’s that simple.
    Your argument is simply the (for you) usual anti-nuclear rant… nothing more than that.
    Cheers.

    • Pete Pete says:

      Sorry that I have to repeat myself the the reason for the post on employment is Edf’s claim that it will result in 25,000 jobs. This is misleading and when we look at the two EPRs being built in Europe they are beset by poor workers rights. As you rightly point out the workers rights for those working on the Taishan plant in China are probably even worse.
      Undoubtedly there are problems with workers rights at hydroelectric plants, PV installations etc but I am countering the claims by Edf which has had such problems at all its current building sites.
      Claiming that Edf is ‘not the law’ is ridiculous – can I go round robbing people and claim ‘I am not the law and it is the polices’ fault for not stopping me’? Edf and Bouygues have committed criminal acts which have been found out and punished – they have clearly broken laws and regulations relating to employment rights in the respective countries and therefore were not following what the ‘department of labour’ tells them to do. It’s that simple.

  • Robertok06 says:

    Hey, Peter!…
    Why don’t you carry out the same analysis for the alternative to nuclear… i.e. photovoltaics, where 70% of the panels of the planet are built in China, à notoriously democratic country where workers’ rights are the norm, right?
    R.

    • Pete Pete says:

      If Sizewell C/D goes ahead it will be built by Edf and CGN (a Chinese company). At the moment we do not know how much of the plant would be built in China.
      However, that is not the main point of this post. Edf continually talk about the how great the new nuclear build will be for local jobs – claiming it will create 25,000 jobs. Not only is this misleading in terms of numbers but there is a danger that the local jobs created would be poorly paid and workers rights would be abused as there are at Flamanville and Olkiluoto.
      So if we want to compare like for like then I would have to compare the jobs created locally at Sizewell and offshore wind installers or solar installers locally. The fact that some offshore wind and solar panels are made in China would be irrelevant.


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