An overarching industrial agreement is urgently needed to ensure first class employment relations on the new High Speed 2 rail link.
Unite, the UK’s largest construction union, is making the call after the consortia who will build the major sections of the project were announced today (Monday 17 July).
An overarching industrial relations agreement similar to the one agreed with the client EDF at Hinkley Point, will help to ensure that the project is delivered on time and on budget and that the workforce is treated fairly and decently.
While an initial framework agreement has been signed by the relevant parties this contains general principals rather than specific industrial relations commitments relating to the construction of the project.
Unite believes that the industrial relations agreement must include commitments on pay rates, the incorporation of relevant industrial agreements, guarantees that workers will be directly employed, has clear targets on apprentice recruitment, a disputes resolution process and specific anti-blacklisting clauses.
Due to the complexity of the project the agreement will be agreed with the client HS2 Ltd and the different consortia will be required to abide by its rules.
Gail Cartmail Unite assistant general secretary said: “With the awarding of the main contracts it is now essential that HS2 Ltd demonstrates that it is serious about ensuring this project has first class industrial relations by signing an appropriate detailed agreement.
“We need to make urgent progress on the good work achieved in the initial framework agreement to ensure that workers are fully protected from day one.
“HS2 needs to build on the good work which has been achieved at Hinkley Point and to avoid the mistakes and problems that have afflicted Crossrail.
“An all embracing industrial relations agreement, which creates a partnership with trade unions, is the best way to ensure that this highly complicated project is delivered on time and on budget and ensures major industrial disagreements are avoided.”
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.