Amicus the Union

Amicus the Union

March 27, 2007 07:27 ET

Construction workers from the Eastern region take their fight for employment rights to Parliament

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - March 27, 2007) - Amicus' members who work in construction are taking their fight to stop the exploitation of migrant workers in the UK and demand a directly employed workforce in construction to the Commons tomorrow (Wednesday 28th March).

Amicus says that as construction booms in UK cities, workers are failing to be protected as national agreements for pay and conditions are undermined by the use of temporary and agency workers who are being employed on lesser terms and conditions.

Delegations of construction workers from the Eastern region, representing a wide range of highly skilled trades from Engineering Construction, Electrical Contracting, Construction Products, Building Services, Plumbing, Heating and Mechanical Contracting will be travelling to London on Wednesday 28th March to fight for stronger employment protection at work and the guarantee that National Agreements for Construction will be enforced on all major infrastructure projects.

It is anticipated that the Eastern region will experience massive expansion over the next decade, including the proposed growth of Stansted and Luton Airports, development of ports and docks at Shell Haven near Thurrock and the East Port in Great Yarmouth with associated regeneration, and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Stort Lea Valley projects and associated infrastructure, followed by the Olympic Legacy Plan to 2025.

The region anticipates massive new build in Engineering Construction on a scale never before seen in the region, participating in the delivery of a balanced Energy policy, with possible new build nuclear power stations at the existing Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex sites, renewable energy via wind farms along the east coast, modernisation and expansion of essential gas infrastructure to service both the Southern North Sea and the growth of imported gas from Europe.

Furthermore, Bio-Fuel production in the Eastern region is set to massively expand, creating the need for the construction of new refineries across the region's agricultural heartlands. All this on top of a buoyant construction, civil engineering and building industry.

Only the national agreements, enshrining skills, safety, training, apprenticeships, employment reward, benefits and industrial relations stability can deliver such projects successfully.

Amicus' General Secretary, Derek Simpson, will address members' at a rally in Westminster about the union's determination to achieve direct employment and equal treatment for all workers and stop the undermining of hard won pay and conditions.
Workers across the construction industry will then lobby Parliament to tell MPs about their own personal experiences and the effects on their pay, sick leave, training and health and safety agreements.

As part of the campaign Amicus has launched a Charter for the UK construction and contracting industry and is calling for the government to use only directly employed labour and for legislation that will prevent the use of cheap labour on all other projects and industry sectors.

Amicus' Regional Secretary, Adrian Axtell, said:

"We are calling on all construction workers to get involved in this national rally so we can send a powerful message to the government that we will not tolerate the exploitation of cheap labour and rogue employers who attack the terms and conditions of our members.

"Without the protection of our National Agreements, workers will continue to be exploited on building sites. We need to protect our national agreements and it is time the government set the standards for all workers in the construction industry."

Photo/Interview Opportunities

Photo call
10.30 am - College Green, opposite House of Lords involving construction workers in hard hats.

11.30 am - 12.20 pm - Rally at Westminster Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London SW1H 9NH. Speakers include Amicus' General Secretary, Derek Simpson, Lindsay Hoyle, MP, EFBWW General Secretary, Harrie Bijen, UCATT General Secretary, Alan Ritchie and Professor Joern Janssen, CLR (European Institute for Construction Labour Research).
1.00 pm - 2.00 pm - Lobby of Parliament, House of Commons

Amicus and other UK trade unions will be joining forces again next month at events across the country to mark Workers' Memorial Day on Saturday 28th April to remember those who have died at work and fight for stronger enforcement of health and safety in construction and other industries to protect workers' health.

Notes to Editor
The Amicus Charter for the UK Construction & Contracting Industry can be downloaded on the Amicus website at

Contact Information

  • Amicus Press Office
    Karen Viquerat
    01704 546500 (07768 931316)
    Amicus Press Office
    Catherine Bithell
    020 7420 8909 (07958 473224)