In the town of Brighton and Hove on the south coast of England, building workers on local council-controlled construction projects have better working conditions and protection thanks to a ‘Construction Charter’ launched by Unite the Union.
The charter ensures that working conditions meet the highest standards. It sets out 11 requirements for contractors and their supply chains, including direct employment status, health and safety, skills development, fair recruitment and measures to support the UK construction industry.
Said Sarah Carpenter, the union’s regional secretary: “Brighton & Hove city council’s decision to sign Unite’s pioneering charter is a significant boost for construction workers. The charter makes a difference by helping local workers to operate in a safe environment and to raise health and safety issues without fear. The charter also protects workers from bogus self-employment by ensuring they are directly employed.”
Councillor Nancy Platts called for similar standards to be extended to non-council-run projects.