Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Don't put Sellafield investment at risk

Those concerned about a fair allocation of jobs on major contracts should pursue this in other ways than strike action.

This is particularly in the interests of Sellafield and West Cumbria

Well over 90% of people working at Sellafield had nothing to do with Monday's strike. Snow had a far bigger effect on Sellafield than the strike did.

But unfortunately that is not what has come through in the media.

Only a few days ago we were all welcoming the announcement by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority that Sellafield is in the running as a possible site for a new Nuclear power station. But it is not a done deal. Investors still have to be persuaded that this is a good place to invest, which it is.

I fully understand people’s concerns about rising unemployment and want to see British firms and British workers win important contracts. There are legitimate questions to ask about the Total power station contracts for energy. But I have never believed that strikes are the answer, let alone secondary strikes.

It does not require either a strike, or a change in the law, to address the issues raised by the Total contracts. There are other ways to address the issue. In particular, it would be illegal for any company to say it would not hire British workers - just as it would be illegal for a British company in Italy to say it would not hire Italian workers. If, as has been alleged, this is happening there are ways to deal with it.

The Prime Minister was unwise to use the phrase 'British jobs for British Workers' while doing nothing about it. He has let a genie out of the bottle.

Concerns about this issue cannot be allowed to jeopardise the economic future of West Cumbria. We need to work together to make sure we secure the new nuclear investment, which the area needs and for which we have a huge amount to offer the country. This must not be put at risk.

1 comment:

Richard said...

The exchange rate is going to do wonders. Looks like this one's been sorted - fingers crossed.

I think the legitimate argument would have been the tax dodge that allowed this to be cheaper - a bit rum really. You probably hear about sub-contracts often which seem a bit dodgy. I don't doubt their word - just haven't revised tax law. Dodgy stat someone said was that our tax system is now more complicated than India's - hmm.

Bit close to Scotland there? All seemed quite exciting.