‘Rights for workers’ deal


Construction firms bidding for work in North Lanarkshire will need to sign an agreement protecting employees’ rights throughout their supply chains.

The local authority has worked with trade union Unite on a charter that will ensure industry regulations are adhered to and workers’ rights, safety and pay are safeguarded. It will also help stamp out practices such as switching employees to self-employed status. The union is promoting the campaign to other councils and public bodies in Scotland and said it expects them to follow North Lanarkshire’s example.

The North Lanarkshire Council Construction Charter will demand that all building firms comply with the four-point plan and promote the benefits of union membership to their employees.

Council leader Jim Logue said: “The council is currently embarking on ambitious plans right across North Lanarkshire including the single biggest investment in council houses for a generation and a planned programme to improve schools. For this, we work with a wide range of firms and suppliers at a number of sites, employing hundreds of people whose health and safety is paramount.

“It is vital that everyone working within the construction industry on council projects complies with the proposed charter to ensure health and safety standards are met, employees are treated and paid fairly and importantly, that all workers’ rights are protected.”

Steve Dillon, the union’s regional coordinating officer, said: “When the council spends public money, Unite wants to make sure it is going to companies who are investing in the local community, paying the appropriate rate for the job, and ensuring workers in their supply chains are treated with dignity and respect. Too often this has been lacking in construction therefore we welcome the support of the Labour leadership in North Lanarkshire Council in adopting the Construction Charter.

“Protecting the rights of construction workers is an ongoing struggle but the Construction Charter is a signal to contractors that they must up their game and put in place systems at work that support a culture of positive industrial relations. We’re particularly pleased that the charter says companies should not use umbrella companies to pay workers, and that it underlines the vital role of collective bargaining through trade unions.”




Article posted 16/10/2017

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