Unite secures access agreement for HS2 Old Oak Common after ‘relentless’ campaign

Unite secures access agreement for HS2 Old Oak Common after ‘relentless’ campaign

Agreement with BBVS leaves SCS only joint HS2 venture without union access agreement

An agreement to allow trade union access to the HS2 Old Oak Common construction site has been signed yesterday (Tuesday 23 April) between joint venture company Balfour Beatty, Vinca, SYSTRA (BBVS) and Unite.

The agreement secures the right of Unite representatives to visit the project’s inductions. It also allows Unite representatives access to rest facilities to talk to all the workers on the site during their breaks, in order to deal with any concerns or worries they may have.

It was signed after a ‘relentless’ two-year campaign by Unite, which included regular demonstrations, leafletting workers and resolving their concerns.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This agreement is the culmination of two years of relentless campaigning by Unite to gain formal access to the Old Oak Common site. Construction workers can now speak directly to Unite about all employment and safety concerns.

“Unite is now in a stronger position to help defend and improve jobs, pay and conditions for HS2 workers at Old Oak Common.”

Unite now has site access agreements with four out of five of the joint venture companies working on HS2: BBVS, Align, EKFB and Mace/Dragados.

The only joint venture company to remain without a site access agreement is Skanska, Costain, Strabag (SCS), which is responsible for the project’s London tunnels. Unite regional officer Declan Murphy said: “Agreeing trade union site access should be a matter of course for all construction contractors. But the successful campaign to achieve the agreement with BBVS shows that Unite will overcome any obstacle put in its way to ensure workers are not denied union access. Unite will now be turning its complete attention to securing a site access agreement for SCS workers.”

Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals


Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024