Unite Wales Construction RISC weighs into EU debate

Unite Wales Construction RISC weighs into EU debate

13 June 2016

Meurig Thomas, chair of Unite Wales’ Construction RISC (Regional Industrial Sector Committee) has today issued a warning that leaving the EU could mean bad news for the sector across Wales.

In his statement, Meurig said:  “Should we vote to leave the EU, there is no doubt in my mind that there  is a very high likelihood of access to labour declining as margins are squeezed .

“I t could be harder for construction workers to get work on projects in Europe, perhaps requiring a work permit, and UK firms would have to navigate extra bureaucracy to qualify to tender for a job in the EU.

“Even after winning a job, the procurement route could prevent you from importing the products and materials you're used to using from the UK.

“The UK construction industry also depends on countless materials and products that come over from many EU countries. Leaving could lead to more trade barriers or red tape related to importing or exporting construction materials, which would create a big headache for the industry.

“Being in the EU has allowed Unite the union to implement the principles of EU Directives in discussions with the Welsh Assembly government in order to promote Ethical Employment Practices on Publicly Funded Construction Projects.”

Bryan Godsell, Unite Wales lead officer for the Construction sector said: “British workers have gained so much in terms of workers' rights and health & safety protection from being in the European Union. Leaving makes no sense at all.

“Being in the European Union has allowed us to protect ourselves from the worst excesses of Conservative governments in Westminster.

“There is no doubt that a Conservative government working outside of the EU would mount a sustained attack on hard won workers' rights and health & safety protection through so called de-regulation”