Construction firms who want to get work from Renfrewshire council will have to agree to a new charter to promote local employment, fair wages and worker protection.
The Renfrewshire council Construction Charter - which has been drawn up with the help of trade union Unite - is designed to stamp out bad industry practices, such as bogus self-employment schemes, on construction sites in the county.
Renfrewshire council agreed the Charter yesterday (Thursday 29 September). All construction contractors doing council work will have to agree to it. The council also wants the Scottish government to ensure that the Scottish Futures Trust makes the Charter part of its obligations on building companies for any work in Renfrewshire.
The charter was proposed by Erskine and Inchinnan Labour councillor Jim Harte said, who is also a member of Unite.
Councillor Harte said: “When the council spends public money, we want to make sure it is going to companies who are investing in the local community, paying a fair wage and treating their workers with dignity and respect.
“The charter makes it clear that the council expects health and safety standards to be rigorously implemented and adhered to. We’ll expect companies to promote and improve opportunities in education and training, so that local people can help fill the construction skills gap and learn for the future. They should also promote and encourage full apprenticeships for local young people.
“This council is a Living Wage employer and we want all construction companies to follow that example, including encouraging them to register as Scottish Living Wage Employers.”
Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “We would like to thank the councillors who supported this Charter.
“This is a most welcome step in the right direction, protecting the right of construction workers is an ongoing struggle. We’re particularly pleased that the Charter says companies must certify that they have not engaged in the practice of blacklisting workers for any reason.
“Now that this Charter has been agreed in Renfrewshire, we will be pushing for other public bodies across Scotland to follow their example, including the Scottish Futures Trust – the Scottish government agency that is bringing private finance into public construction projects.
“Unite will continue to campaign for the improvement of health and safety standards, plus proper pay and training, for construction workers across the whole of the country.”
Notes to editors
For more details Councillor Jim Harte on 0300 300 1278 or Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / firstname.lastname@example.org
The full Renfrewshire council Construction Charter can be seen on the Renfrewshire council website here (Agenda Item 32, Page 12): https://is.gd/LvaJBR
Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.