Unite, the UK’s construction union, will hold a demonstration at Euston station tomorrow (20 November) in protest at the ongoing union busting being undertaken by the Costain/Skanska Joint Venture (CSJV) on the prestigious HS2 project.

WHERE: CSJV entrance, Euston Road and Melton Street, London 
WHEN: Wednesday 20 November 11:30-13:30.

Costain and Skanska are operating a union busting regime on the Euston site where they are undertaking enabling works on the HS2 project.

No access

They have refused to allow Unite officials access to workers in the site’s canteen and welfare areas, during break times. This is despite HS2 having signed up to a framework agreement on employment rights, which stipulates that such access must be provided by all contractors.

Despite the union busting antics of the CSJV, Unite has continued to recruit members at Euston and has uncovered a substantial number of workplace abuses. This includes CSJV instigating a regime of underpaid overtime which is costing workers on average £100 a week.

Many abuses

Other abuses have included the failure to pay the workers for the correct number of holidays, the use of umbrella companies and the failure to provide workers with the correct accident and death benefits.

HS2 tarnished

Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “Unite is determined to increase the pressure on CSJV to end its union busting and allow the union to have fair and normal access to the workforce.

“By refusing to allow normal access CSJV are ignoring the commitments made by the client HS2 and it is tarnishing the good name of the entire project.

“The CSJV say they are treating the workforce well and are playing by the rules but if that was the case why are they not allowing Unite officials on its site and preventing the workforce from electing their own shop stewards and safety reps.

“This demonstration is expected to be the largest yet at the project and Unite is committed to increasing the intensity of the demonstrations until this matter is resolved.

“The entire construction industry are asking what is CSJV trying to hide on its Euston site.

“Unite remains ready and willing to meet with CSJV in order to reach an agreement that complies with the HS2/TUC initial framework agreement.”


Notes to editors:

 HS2 union busting campaign to be stepped up

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067. Email: [email protected]

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.