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Workplace safety concerns raised at event

UCATT, the union for construction workers, has had its motion on workplace safety passed unanimously at the STUC Congress in Dundee. The motion dealt with the issue of migrant workers on construction sites who do not have the necessary language skills which mean they are potentially posing a risk to both themselves and other workers. UCATT say it has uncovered unsafe practices on major infrastructure sites in Scotland, and moving the motion UCATT delegate Paul Bennett said: “This movement celebrates the diverse nature of Scotland – and welcomes workers from across the world here.

“But how can it be that workers are being brought in from across continental Europe as so called specialist contractors, then have to undergo training while here on the job, and are being paid a rate of a general labourer, carrying out labouring tasks, it’s a sham – these workers are being hired as cheap labour only to reduce labour costs in the subcontract chain and in turn increase profit margins of companies”

UCATT’s motion calls on the STUC to campaign with the incoming Scottish Government for additional funding to support unions in Scotland organising migrant workers. The motion also condemns Conservative changes to the GLA that will lessen the effectiveness of licencing gang-masters and agencies.

April 2016