In a major boost for construction projects in the West Midlands, Sandwell Council and Birmingham City Council will officially have signed a Unite Charter today (April 9) protecting construction workers.
The Charter ensures that conditions for workers on construction projects under the councils’ control meet the highest standards.
Construction firms planning to work on council building projects will now need to adhere to the new Construction Charter. The Charter commits to working with Unite in order to achieve the highest standards in respect of direct employment status, health & safety, standards of work, apprenticeship training and the implementation of appropriate nationally agreed terms and conditions of employment.
Annmarie Kilcline, Unite regional secretary for the West Midlands said, “Today marks a major boost for construction workers in the West Midlands. Birmingham and Sandwell councils are doing the right thing by signing up to Unite’s Construction Charter.
“The right to speak out on issues and be paid a fair rate for the job is vital. The Charter means there will be no blacklisting of workers. It also protects workers from bogus self-employment by ensuring construction workers are directly employed. The Charter also helps local workers to operate in a safe environment including giving them the rights to raise health and safety issues without fear.”
Leader of Birmingham City Council Cllr Ian Ward added,”Birmingham is currently going through an exciting period of construction and regeneration that will shape this city and the lives of our citizens for generations to come.
“The construction industry is right at the heart of building that brighter future for the people of Birmingham and we’re delighted to be working with Unite to ensure that our construction projects meet the highest standards for workers and for residents.”
Councillor Steve Trow, leader of Sandwell Council, noted, “This is an important charter which confirms the council’s support and commitment to staff, residents and businesses in Sandwell on issues that matter to them.”
In Birmingham there are major regeneration projects currently underway or are in the pipeline including Birmingham Smithfield, Curzon Masterplan, Langley Sustainable Urban Extension and Peddimore employment development and the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village.
In the West Midlands, Coventry, Wolverhampton and Dudley councils have signed Unite’s Construction Charter.