A PROTEST over "police intimidation" of union activists was held on Monday night, as a demonstrator faced a police caution.

Unions have been demonstrating weekly for six months outside Sita Sembcorp UK sites in Wilton and Haverton Hill over claims the company is employing cheap foreign labour in Teesside rather than sticking to a national pay agreement with unions representing construction workers.

Eight weeks ago one of the protesters was arrested by Cleveland Police for failing to provide his details and for causing intimidation to workers.

He was allowed to go once he provided his name and activists say he was told he would face no further action.

But Paul Whitehurst, national officer for trade union GMB, said: "Last week police turned up at his home and in full view of his wife and family instructed him he had to attend the police station today (MONDAY) to receive a police caution for his part in a protest which took place approximately eight weeks ago.

"This is police intimidation of protesters at its very worst."

Demonstrators claim the arrested protester, who did not want to be named, was simply handing out leaflets as part of the "Pay the Rate" demonstration at Sita's site on Haverton Hill.

Tonight (MONDAY) protesters staged a demonstration directly outside Redcar Police Station, in Kirkleatham, Redcar, as the GMB member waited for his caution inside.

The union employed a solicitor to represent him and demonstrators played music from a large speaker directly into the police station and gathered with banners outside.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: "A 41-year-old man was arrested for failing to provide his details and for causing intimidation to workers. Once the man had given his details he was de-arrested. The investigation is still ongoing."

Protestors at the station included scaffolder Tony Seaman, part of the Teesside Construction Committee, a joint union campaign group for construction workers.

He said: "It should have been dealt with at the time, not eight weeks later. It is victimisation. He wasn't doing anything different to what we normally do. The police have been friendly so far and then they go and do this. We have a democratic right to protest."

Fewer than one third of the staff hired to build the £250m waste-to-energy plant, Wilton 11, are local, it is believed.

But Sita Sembcorp UK have denied that pay affected its decision to employ foreign labour.