Unions to protest in campaign for construction workers...

Unions to protest in campaign for construction workers to be paid London living wage

18 August 2015

Construction unions UCATT and Unite will organise a series of co-ordinated protests tomorrow (Wednesday 19th August) at the headquarters of employers’ organisations which have blocked the introduction of the London Living Wage for construction workers.

Last month the employers on the Construction industry Joint Council (the largest industrial agreement in the construction industry) blocked union proposals that all workers employed in the London area and covered by the agreement should receive at least the London Living Wage.

Currently the rate for labourers and general operative working under the CIJC is just £8.52 an hour compared to the London Living Wage of £9.15. If as expected the London Living Wage increases later this year, an even greater number of workers covered by the agreement will be paid below the LLW.

In response to the employers actions UCATT and Unite will stage protests outside the offices of the:
Home Builders Federation, 7-9 St James Street, SW1A 1EE
Civil Engineering Contractors Association, 1 Birdcage Walk, London SW1H 9JJ
National Access and Scaffolding Confederation, 12 Brideswell Place, London EC4V 6AP.
The demonstrations will begin at 08:00 am

Jerry Swain, Regional Secretary for UCATT’s London and South East Region, said: “The employers are treating workers with absolute contempt. Many construction workers are employed in brutal conditions and have to work excessive hours just to make ends meet. It is frankly disgusting that they should be employed on pay rates below what you need to live on in London.”

Unite deputy regional secretary for London and Eastern, Vince Passfield said: “London’s prosperity is partly based on the building boom across the city, yet the very construction workers creating the wealth are being denied the London ‘living wage’ deemed the basic income required to live in one of the world’s most expensive cities.

“More and more business and industry leaders across the economy are recognising the importance of the ‘living wage’ as a way of giving hard-working employees the semblance of a decent income. Within a cash-rich industry, where profit is clearly placed before reward, the construction employers should respond positively to a reasonable demand.”

The protests are the first part of a sustained campaign to ensure that construction workers in London receive the Living Wage and further action involving sites where workers are forced to operate on poverty wages is being planned.

For further information contact Barckley Sumner on 0780 2329 235 (UCATT)
or Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 (Unite)