EDF’s Hinkley Point project could be hit by construction worker strike

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FILE PHOTO: Hinkley Point C nuclear power station site is seen near Bridgwater in Britain, September 14, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

Workers on EDF’s 18 billion pound Hinkley Point C nuclear project in southwest England could go on strike over bonus payments, two labour unions said on Thursday.

The GMB and Unite trade unions will hold a vote among 700 workers employed by the Bouygues-Laing O’Rourke (BYLOR) construction consortium appointed by EDF to build parts of Britain’s first new nuclear plant in decades.

The ballot is scheduled for May 2-5, the unions said.

“The bonus rate offered by BYLOR is insufficient to attract the quality of workers needed to ensure that the civil works phase of the 18 billion pound project is completed on time,” the unions said in a joint statement.

EDF Energy, the French utility’s British subsidiary, said that discussions with its contractor and trade union partners were ongoing.

“We are committed to a continuing dialogue on this issue,” said an EDF spokesman, also speaking on behalf of Bouygues and Laing O’Rourke.

The energy company started last month to build some of the first permanent structures for the nuclear plant.

If strike action goes ahead, construction work could be delayed, adding to years of overruns after wrangles over financing and regulatory delays.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by David Goodman)

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