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Construction - Lay-off sparks site strike

WORKERS, SEPTEMBER 2008 ISSUE

HUNDREDS of building workers walked off the Langage Energy Centre site in Plymouth on 7 August after 16 men hired the previous Sunday on six-month contracts were told that there was no work for them, amid rumours that cheaper Polish labour was being brought in.

The men had travelled from all over the British Isles and were expecting to live in accommodation provided by Alstom, but were left stranded with their belongings and nowhere to live. The 16 men included Unite rep Brian Mills. Rapid negotiations the following day led to a settlement, with agreed compensation.

Langage is the first power station to be built in Britain for five years. The gas-fired station is being built by Alstom, the French company, for Centrica, formerly the production arm of British Gas.

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