Union leaders will today renew protests at Co-Steel, following complaints by more than 30 workers of undue management pressure to return to work early after accidents at the Kent mill.
Workers detailed their complaints to Labour health and safety spokesman Graham Allen, who wrote to environment secretary, John Gummer. The Health and Safety Executive is investigating the reporting of accidents at the mill.
Workers allege they have been asked by the Canadian management to use holiday entitlement to cover sick days off work or to resume lighter duties on returning to work after an accident. Some have been threatened with the loss of monthly bonus payments, based on employee attendance records, if they fail to respond to management pressure, it is claimed.
Companies are required to report accidents which result in an absence from work of more than three days.
Workers claim that the management’s tactics are aimed at preventing further damage to its safety record.