‘Subtle blacklisting’ claim as Crossrail firm fails to recognise elected reps

The failure of a construction company to recognise the elected officials of workers on Europe largest rail infrastructure project in central London has been branded ‘a subtle form of blacklisting’ by Unite, the country’s largest union.

Unite is angry that bosses at Laing O’Rourke are not recognising the election of shop steward Terry Wilson and health & safety rep Martyn Prue who are electricians working at the Crossrail Tottenham Court Road project.

Unite argues that that the company’s stance contravenes the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act which permits the free election of union reps – and failure to do so is a form of the blacklisting that has plagued the construction industry for years.

Unite regional officer Guy Langston said: “Our members are furious that basic trade union freedoms, such as the election of union reps, are being attacked by Laing O’Rourke.

“This particular company has always taken a hard line stance about Unite organising workers on its construction sites which is a democratic right enshrined in law – and what is happening at Tottenham Court Road is the latest manifestation of this company’s attitude to its hardworking workforce.

“When you can’t even have a health & safety rep recognised – and construction sites are very dangerous places – it puts the company in a very poor light when it comes to good employment relations practice.

“What we are seeing here is a subtle form of blacklisting and we call on the management to rescind its decision not to recognise our democratically-elected reps.

“It also against Crossrail’s labour relations’ policy which all the Tier 1 contractors, including Laing O’Rourke, have agreed to in working on the Crossrail project.

“The hidden agenda here is that Unite has put in for a second tier payment for the electrical and mechanical members working for Laing O’Rourke – and the non-recognition of our reps can be seen as a ploy to hinder the progression of this claim.”

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

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