Trade unions call for more infrastructure projects after delayed nuclear plant verdict
Trade unions have welcomed Theresa May’s decision to green-light a proposed £18 billion nuclear plant at the Hinkley Point C site in Somerset, England.
The project was delayed in July amid funding concerns, but the Prime Minister gave the plant the go-ahead today with ‘significant new safeguards’ to curb national security threats from stakeholder China.
Unions have backed the Hinkley Point explansion, while environmental groups have been more sceptical.
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said:
‘We are pleased ministers have ended the uncertainty over Hinkley Point. This project will create thousands of quality jobs and apprenticeships and bring much-needed investment to the South West.’
She said the government must ‘get the shovels out’ for more infrastructure projects like a third Heathrow runway, high-speed rail and affordable homes.
Unite National Officer for Energy Kevin Coyne said:
‘Our members are shovel ready and dead keen to start work on the country’s first nuclear power station for a generation.
It is excellent news that that the uncertainty caused by Theresa May’s decision to put Hinkley Point ‘on hold’ has now been dispelled and that the government recognises the role of nuclear in a mixed energy economy.’
He said the project would create ‘thousands of skilled jobs’, 500 apprenticeships, and ‘heralds an economic renaissance for the West Country’.
Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary for Energy, said:
‘Giving the thumbs-up to Hinkley is vital to fill the growing hole in the UK’s energy supply needs.
It will be a big relief for the 25,000 quality jobs which were put at risk by the latest delay, never mind the reputational damage inflicted on UK plc.’
Brian Rye, acting General Secretary of UCATT, the construction union, said:
‘The go-ahead was vital for the construction industry which desperately needed the confirmation of such a major project following a slowdown in the industry caused by the Brexit vote.
It is also good news for the overall economy as it helps to guarantee the stability of our future energy supply.’
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