Contractor flees UK to avoid Tribunal payout

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GMB, the union for engineering construction workers, is seeking changes to an EU Directive to ensure that 14 GMB members will be paid the £251,204.81 awarded to them earlier this year by an Employment Tribunal in Cardiff after German based contractor, Darmar, fled UK jurisdiction having failed to pay the award.

GMB was successful in February 2012, in the Employment Tribunal in Cardiff, in a claim for £251,204.81 for 14 laggers who were Polish migrant workers employed by Darmar in the construction of Uskmouth Power Station in South Wales by main contractor Siemens.

Severn Power awarded the main contact to Siemens to build the Uskmouth CCGT (Combined Cycle Gas Turbine) Power Station and work started on the site in early 2009 The site was covered by the engineering construction national agreement. By autumn 2010 Darmar, the thermal insulation subcontractor then based in Middlesex, employed laggers on the site all of whom were migrants workers sourced through an agency called Isochore. All were underpaid. GMB brought successful tribunal claims on behalf of 14 out of a total of 84 laggers on the site. Darmar fled the UK jurisdiction having failed to pay the award.

Kathleen Walker Shaw GMB European officer said:

“This was yet another ruling from an Employment Tribunal on underpayment and exploitation of migrant workers at other engineering construction sites in the UK such as Lindsey oil refinery site, Staythorpe power station site and Isle of Grain power station site.

This case has exposed a hole in EU posting of workers Directive which must be closed. In the meantime Siemens has to take responsibility and put pressure on Darmar to pay these workers what they are owed.

GMB will not let the matter rest and will continue to seek support for changes to the Directive regulations to close this legal hole.”

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