HINKLEY construction workers have gone back to work this afternoon, ending their two-day strike over pay

Around 500 construction workers had withdrawn their labour and protested by sitting in the canteen at the site of the new nuclear power station.

But following a crunch meeting at lunchtime today (March 7), the issue has reportedly been resolved and the construction staff have returned to work.

According to Unite the Union, the workers were told on Thursday during the working day to return to their lodgings. 

The union’s members were due to work the weekend and were available to work, although were instructed not to report for work due to the red weather warnings.

On their return to site this week they were advised via text that they would not be paid on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (March 2-3-4).

An EDF Energy spokesman said: “Agreement has been reached with representatives of the workers involved in a dispute over bad weather payments at Hinkley Point C and they have now returned to work. 

“Employees who were unable to work at the site during recent bad weather will be paid in line with agreements signed with the trade unions.

“The safety of our workforce is paramount and a decision was made to close the site on Thursday ahead of the bad weather. Work was carried out over the weekend to ensure the site was available for a safe return to work on Tuesday.

“We are proud of the best in class pay and conditions for the Hinkley Point C workforce. We have created great facilities, offer career development and have done this in a way that is affordable for the project.

“We share a commitment with the trade unions and our contractors to provide the best standards in health, safety and welfare, and the highest standards of quality and productivity, as we work together to deliver this vital project for the UK.”

However Unite the Union said it was completely unacceptable for Kier/Bam to decide not to pay its workforce while those workers remained available for work during last week’s extreme weather and across the weekend.

Peter Hughes from Unite said: “The current problems at Hinkley were not organised or caused by Unite but the actions of their employers. However the union has been in intensive negotiations to seek a resolution to the issues with both Kier/Bam and the client EDF. 

“We have already seen the government in Scotland call out companies who have adopted such tactics and we agree that employees should not be penalised for following safety advice.”

The dispute was finally settled after a meeting at 1pm and the staff returned to work.