Baglan Bay is a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant that was owned by General Electric until October 2012. However, GE continues to operate the plant on behalf of the current owners, Calon Energy.
While Prospect did have a few individual members at the plant, there was a huge spike in membership when it was announced earlier this year that staff would be transferred from GE to Calon Energy.
When the company approached staff for a volunteer to represent them in future consultation meetings, there was a near unanimous message from the workforce, in the form of individually signed letters, that they wished to be represented by Prospect.
As the membership figures comfortably passed through the 50% threshold for automatic recognition, Prospect approached GE requesting union recognition and the deal was signed in early August.
Negotiations officer, Gareth Howells, who together with colleague, Daniel Maney, was instrumental in the recruitment of new members and securing the recognition deal said:
“Daniel and I were really impressed with the wholehearted support and the enthusiasm we had from the members there. They have been very supportive of the work we are trying to do.
“The recognition agreement covers collective bargaining but crucially it means we will be able to represent and advise staff in relation to the proposed TUPE transfer, which is due to take place by the end of March 2020.”
Calon Energy has been informed by GE that there’s a recognition deal with Prospect in place.
On the next steps for the new branch at Baglan Bay, Howells said:
“The branch has been formally set up and we will be meeting the members in the next couple of weeks to make sure that we've got a representative to sit in on negotiations and to get the branch structure in place. Once that is finalised, we will have a conference to take things forward.”
He added: “We also are grateful for the constructive engagement from the GE management team, led by Stuart Aston, GE Power UK’s employee relations leader.”
Photo: GE Power UK's Stuart Aston (left) and Prospect's Gareth Howells signing the recognition deal.