GMB Welcome Construction Charter To Boost Building Workers’ Conditions In Liverpool To Be Launched On Thursday 10th September
These are minimum standards that all public bodies throughout the UK should adhere to so they should follow the example set by Liverpool City Council says GMB.
GMB, the union for construction workers, welcome the launch on Thursday 10th September of a six-point charter to ensure that construction workers receive minimum employment conditions. Construction firms that want to build in Liverpool will have to agree to adhere to that charter
The charter, which has been drawn up by GMB, Unite and Ucatt, is designed to stamp out ‘notorious’ industry practices, such as bogus self-employment schemes, on any construction site within the city limits.
The three unions will be signing the document, along with the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, at the mayoral office in the Cunard Building, the Pier Head at 13.00 on Thursday (10 September).
The charter states: “It goes without saying that the health and safety of all workers is paramount. The construction industry is a dangerous industry and consequently we expect health & safety standards to be rigorously implemented and adhered to.
“We also expect welfare facilities for construction workers to be appropriate to the 21st century, such as toilets, mess, and drying facilities.”
The unions and the mayor point out that they are ‘acutely aware’ of the projected skill shortages that exist in all areas of the construction industry.
The charter adds: “This means expecting major contractors who have won work in our area to offer proper apprenticeships to the youth of the city.
“We also support other initiatives whose aim is to improve or expand the education and training of employers and employees engaged on construction projects across our city.
“Liverpool City Council is a ‘living wage’ employer and believes that workers should be fairly rewarded for their efforts.
“We also believe that all workers have the right to paid holidays, access to a sickness benefit scheme, a decent pension, accident compensation and the comfort of knowing that a death in service scheme is in operation.”
The city council believes that trade unions play a vital role in creating a safe and productive worksite, and developing good industrial relations.
The six points of the charter call for:
· the employment of all construction operatives under the terms and conditions set out in the relevant national agreements: JIB, JIBPMES, HVAC, CIJC, NAECI, and TICA
· the promotion of the benefits of belonging to a recognised trade union
· the recognition of onsite shop stewards who have an important role to play in achieving and promoting good industrial relations
· trade unions retaining responsibility to appoint any health & safety representative to reflect their members’ priorities
· the active promotion of the election of workplace health & safety reps and support for their role in helping to ensure a safe site
· the provision of equality of opportunity for all, including the acknowledgement that the blacklisting of workers, for whatever reason, has no place in our society.
Paul Mc Carthy, GMB Regional Secretary, said "This is an excellent and most welcome step forward by Liverpool City Council.
This cooperation displayed by Liverpool City Council with the trade unions has now set the minimum standards that all local authorities and public bodies awarding infrastructure projects should follow throughout the UK. We ask them to follow the example set by Liverpool City Council."
I would also like to record our congratulations and thanks to Joe Anderson for heeding GMB with regards to the project on Teesside being built for the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) where exploitation has been uncovered.
GMB will continue to press for an independent forensic audit on the Wilton 11 site being constructed on Teesside by Sita Sembcorp for MRWA. As these independent audits are commonplace on engineering construction sites Sita Sembcorp and MRWA should have no problem in agreeing to this.”
Contact: in Liverpool Paul McCarthy 07740 804040 or Neil Smith 07740 804063 or George Patterson 07974 018405 or Phil Whitehurst on 07968 338810 or GMB press office 07921 289880.
Notes to editors:
The media is warmly welcomed to the signing ceremony at the Cunard Building at 13.00 on Thursday (10 September).