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‘Shocking’ contract

Unite backed calls by MPs to strip Sir Robert McAlpine of the contract for the restoration work of Big Ben. Unite said it was grossly inappropriate that a firm currently being sued for blacklisting should be awarded a multi-million pound contract to restore the national symbol.

“It is a stain on our democracy that a firm with a history of blacklisting and


ruining lives should be awarded such a contract,” said Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett.

So far 74 MPs have signed the early day motion tabled by Chuka Umunna MP calling for Sir Robert McAlpine to be stripped of the contract. Umunna has also presented new evidence to Parliament showing that blacklisting in construction still persists to this day.

Sir Robert McAlpine was also awarded an ethical standard for labour sourcing in October. Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said, “Awarding an ethical standard for labour sourcing to

See page 19 Find out more HERE Workers robbed of dignity ‘Toilet terror’ – Halloween protest

People are being robbed of their dignity as inadequate access to toilets becomes a growing issue in the workplace.

Birmingham maintenance workers, who undertake maintenance and repair work for the council’s housing stock, are not provided with toilets. Instead they are encouraged to use the toilets in McDonalds, KFC, or public toilets.

Unite regional officer Stuart Baker said, “Housing contractors in Birmingham are flouting welfare regulations.” He called on both the health and safety executive (HSE) and

CONSTRUCTION Pay snatch outrage

Unite is taking legal action against troubled contractor Mears, after the company secretly cut holiday pay for housing maintenance workers in Wigan.

The workers have a holiday entitlement of 23 days plus bank holidays. Mears was paying average holiday pay for the 23 days but not the bank holidays.

Now, Unite has taken the workers’ case to an employment tribunal, which is due to be heard in December. “This is yet another example of Mears’ appalling local management,” said Unite regional officer John Sheppard. “If Unite is successful at the employment tribunal then it will cost Mears a great deal more than it was originally paying.”

9 uniteWORKS Autumn 2017 Find out more HERE

In a separate dispute involving Mears, workers in Manchester voted overwhelmingly in favour of fresh strikes in October in a longstanding dispute over pay differentials and attacks to terms and conditions.

The Unite members are due to begin strike action in November.

the council to intervene.

Meanwhile, Unite staged a Halloween protest (left) in October outside one of Europe’s largest parcel sorting facility in Hinkley as the union seeks recognition, where workers at the DPD Super Hub have allegedly been refused time to use the toilet.

Unite regional officer Mark Pettifer called the allegations “horrific”. “We believe this and many of the other problems workers are facing are a result of the company reneging on its commitment to recognise Unite.”

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Sir Robert McAlpine is both shocking and disgusting.”

Mark Harvey

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