Siemens workers in Hull should ‘not pick up the tab’ for production pause, says Unite

Workers at wind turbine blade manufacturer Siemens Gamesa in Hull should not be made ‘to pick up the tab’ for the pause in production to introduce a coronavirus safety regime, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, warned today (Wednesday 1 April).

Unite, which represents about 380 production staff, is angry that members will, in effect, pay for the week’s pause in production (workers returned to the site today).

Unite said that the management wanted the workforce either to take holiday; work the hours back in the future; or go unpaid for the week.

Unite is also questioning whether the production of the blades for wind turbines is essential at this time of national emergency and, if it is not, the workforce should be furloughed on full-pay until the pandemic passes.

Unite regional coordinating officer Simon Coop said: “At this time of national emergency we want to work constructively with management, but we are not prepared to see our members pick up the tab for the week’s pause in production.

“We are urging the management to rescind that edict about the week’s pause and pay our members in full.

“Our members returning to the site today are rightly anxious whether the new health & safety measures are adequate enough.

“We want to discuss with the company whether the production of blades is an ‘essential’ industry at this time. If it is not, we would want our members furloughed on full-pay.”

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