Unions have accused councils of “betraying” the workforce at an £800 million incinerator project.

GMB and Unite the Union said the workforce at the Parc Adfer project on Deeside Industrial Park were being let down by a “union-hating company” and an “uncaring, incompetent local authority conglomerate”.

The North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project comprises five local authorities responsible for building the new waste facility in Deeside.

The partnership has contracted French company CNIM to undertake the project, which has already prompted two demonstrations by workers in opposition.

Both unions have written to all five councils – Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy, Anglesey and Gwynedd – about their concerns, but have not received a response.

They have alleged CNIM has refused to allow the unions to access the site, failed to engage local workers on the project and that some of the work is expected to be given to overseas contractors.

The unions also claim the company is also refusing to abide by the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) which means staff employed on the site are not receiving the correct pay and conditions for the work they are conducting.

Phil Whitehurst, GMB national officer for construction, said: “From past experience CNIM does not seem to want to engage with trade unions.

“We are seen as a necessary evil who they won’t embrace in a harmonious partnership.

“The Parc Adfer Deeside area workforce has been sadly let down by a union-hating company and an uncaring, incompetent local authority conglomerate who are just interested in saving money and not the wider local economy.”

Bernard McAulay, Unite national officer for construction, said: “Our joint talks with CNIM failed to achieve a way forward, but we are not going to stand idly by and allow workers to be mistreated and exploited.

“Trade unions feel the North Wales councils have betrayed the local community – and spend more time on box-ticking exercises rather than promoting job opportunities in the surrounding communities.

“It is essential local people realise what is being done in their name and clearly say that what is happening on Deeside is not acceptable.

“It is totally immoral that these practices are being conducted on a public sector contract.

“There have already been local protests about the way this project is being conducted and without an agreement similar disruptive activity could reoccur.”

A Flintshire Council spokesman, on behalf of the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project, said: “Parc Adfer is being built under a contract on behalf of five of the North Wales local authorities through the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project (NWRWTP).

”The facility will treat non-recyclable waste from the five partner authority areas.

”The partnership has procured Wheelabrator Technologies Inc (WTI) to build and operate the facility. WTI is a reputable company with a growing portfolio of waste treatment facilities in the United Kingdom.

”The partnership, while not responsible for WTI’s contracting arrangements for the construction of the site, has encouraged WTI to support local supply chains and employment markets through its procurement and contracting. CNIM, WTI’s principal contractor, has produced a report which demonstrates this activity (attached).

He added the partnership has encouraged WTI and CNIM to maintain an open relationship with the Trade Unions, and facilitated a meeting of all parties earlier this year at the Unions’ request.

“All five councils in the partnership recently received a letter from Unite. Flintshire made a collective reply on behalf of all five,” the spokesman said

“A local on-site meeting between WTI and CNIM was arranged for October 11.

”This meeting was cancelled by the Trade Unions at short notice, and CNIM offered an alternative date which was declined.

“It is disappointing that the facts are being wrongly presented by this commentary to the media.

”We have asked that WTI and CNIM again meet with the trade unions and they have agreed to do so. Some of the comments made are a distortion and are not helpful in developing respectful relations where dialogue is possible.

“We again request the unions to advise their members against taking part in unofficial protests near to the Parc Adfer site which both cause disruption to local businesses and are a danger to road safety.”