Unite, Britain’s biggest union, is seeking urgent answers from Air Products management following reports that it could be looking to halt work on its first energy- to- waste development at Teesside (TV1), threatening hundreds of jobs.
The news comes less than six months after it stopped construction at its second site (TV2) at North Tees Complex in Billingham, with the loss of 800 jobs.
Responding to reports that Air Products 1 (TV1) – the energy from waste plant in the Tees Valley is to be mothballed with a view to being sold, Steve Cason, Unite regional officer said: “This news is extremely worrying coming so soon after the collapse of the nearby SSI steelworks in Redcar and the shutdown of works at Air Products 2 (TV2), which closed at only a few hours’ notice last November with the loss of 800 construction jobs.
“Unite is deeply disappointed that the company has appeared to have gone to ground. We are seeking an urgent meeting with the firm’s senior executives and will be visiting the site today (Tuesday 8 March) to get as much information as we can on the situation.
“If work stops at this site, hundreds of more highly skilled local jobs go with it. Teeside can ill-afford the collapse of yet another economically vital industry. It would be a hammer blow to the area and local economy, which is facing the loss of more than a thousand jobs from this firm alone in less than six months.
“We are also seeking an urgent meeting with local politicians. Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham and the leader of Stockton council, Bob Cook have been contacted and told of the situation. It is hoped that Bob Cook will visit the site today.
“Unite will work tirelessly to protect the jobs of our members and to save this plant from being mothballed. Our members deserve answers – we are urging the company to talk to us as a matter of urgency.”
TV1 at the New Energy and Technology Business Park is the UK’s largest power plant of its kind.
Once operational, it would have converted pre-processed household, commercial and industrial waste into enough green energy to power the equivalent of 50,000 homes.