A TRADE union has hit out at an energy company for what they believe is 'diabolical treatment' of sub-contractors working at the Orsted wind farm off Walney Island.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport has been in conflict with Worley Energy over an alleged mishandling of a drug and alcohol test which led to two Barrow-based workers being suspended without pay.

In regard to the incident dating back to November 2020, RMT said: "One of our members was unwell with an upset stomach when he was summoned to his Drug and Alcohol test and had to leave his sickbed to comply with this instruction.

"The Branch finds it inappropriate that random Drug and Alcohol tests are being carried out in our members’ free time and when our members are physically unable to attend.

"It is also apparent that these tests were not random but instigated after a complaint regarding overtime.

"Additionally, there is a reasonable belief that the lab report does not meet with the industry standard as the elements of the readings state that the test is flawed."

Branch representative Nate Andrews of RMT said that they have tried to resolve this matter through meaningful discussions and open dialogue but have not seen engagement from Worley.

"I have seen over one hundred of these cases and we would not normally take them on unless something untoward had happened.

"I have never seen something as diabolical as this though.

"Normally the test gets taken and put into a specific bag with gloves and done through all the correct procedures, but our member has said he just stuck it into his pocket. There is a whole host of contamination risks with that.

"People's livelihoods and characters are on the line with this. We will withdraw members and take strike action if necessary."

The pair are currently facing disciplinary action for failing the tests for alcohol and drugs the union is backing their members in what they regard as 'abuse'.

Worley Energy have been approached for comment, but did not respond before the deadline.

Their workers provide general maintenance to the windfarm just off the Barrow coastline.