A joint venture company consisting of Skanska-Costain-Strabag that is seriously hindering legitimate trade union access to construction workers building the Euston tunnels of the HS2 railway have been called out by Unite the union.
Unite construction members will be holding a central London demonstration outside the Skanska-Costain-Strabag Joint Venture site on Friday (6 August) over the consortium’s flouting of the HS2 agreement by not allowing union officials ‘meaningful’ access to the site.
The HS2 protest will be at the corner of Hampstead Road and Roberts Street NW1 3EL (close to Euston Station, London) from 12 midday to 2pm on Friday (August 6).
The demonstration is the start of a long term campaign to stop the union-busting activities of companies like Skanska and Costain which are renowned for blacklisting union members.
Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said, “This joint venture made up of leading construction companies have union-busting ingrained in their DNA and a burning desire to break the strong bond between Unite and construction workers – that will never happen.
“These companies loathe Unite as we stand up for our members in all weathers fighting and campaigning for decent pay and employment conditions, as well as the highest possible health & safety standards in the industry,” he added.
“We have already found Costain/Skanska sites on HS2 where workers have been robbed of overtime rates, death and serious injury cover, paid holidays and workers paid through payroll companies – we don’t need to ask what they have to hide because we know.
“Now they are breaking the HS2 agreement by not allowing Unite officials’ meaningful access to the site – we will continue to protest at the unacceptable behaviour of this multi-national joint venture until they realise that agreements freely entered into can’t be so easily discarded,” Swain continued.
“These demonstrations will not only continue, with the ensuing reputational damage to the companies involved, but will spread to include other areas where Skanska-Costain-Strabag currently work. We will not stop until union officials are allowed on site.”
By Shaun Noble