Call for inquiry into Crossrail workplace abuse claims

Aaron Morby 2 years ago
Share

Construction union UCATT is calling for an urgent independent inquiry into alleged safety and workplace abuses on the Crossrail project.

Construction union UCATT stages protest outside central London Crossrail entrance

Workers on the Alstom, TSO and Costain joint venture tunnelling contract complain they are being forced to work until they are physically exhausted and undertake work that is beyond them.

The latest concerns come after the Enquirer revealed workers were being forced to walk up to 2 miles underground in order to go to the toilet and complained canteen facilities were inadequate.

Now union officials have written to London mayor Sadiq Khan, the Health and Safety Executive and Crossrail calling for an urgent independent inquiry into conditions and working practices on the project.

Jerry Swain, UCATT London and the South East Regional Secretary, said: “Not only is this project a disgrace in its treatment of its workforce but there are now serious safety concerns.

“These issues should cause great alarm among ATC and Crossrail management. We need an urgent independent inquiry in order to investigate and end these abuses.

“The workforce and the country require reassurance that this flagship, state-funded construction project will follow the gold standard for workers’ treatment and workplace conditions. Tunnelling is a dangerous environment.”

Last week the union staged protests outside the entrance to the tunnelling project in central London over poor welfare facilities and the failure of the contract’s fingerprint recognition system, which resulted in many of the workforce not being paid correctly.

UCATT later received reports from workers who had spoken to demonstrators claiming that when they entered the site they were stopped and questioned by site management.

Swain, added: “It’s shameful that management at international construction companies, working on a major state-funded project, are going to extraordinary lengths to keep unions off site.

“There can be nothing more insulting than working a full shift, in difficult conditions in a tunnel, and then not getting paid. This needs to be rectified.”

There are currently over 1,000 workers employed by ATC on the tunnelling section of the Crossrail contract.

The Enquirer also understands that electricians on the Woolwich stretch of the job stopped working yesterday as another protest flared up.

A site source said: “Around 50 of the lads cabined-up for most of the day because they are fed up with the way they are being treated.”

A spokesman for ATC said: “We have robust procedures in place, and have assured our team members that all hours that are worked will be paid.

“The booking-in system is being fully investigated and as a precaution, a dedicated timekeeper has been placed at Fisher Street to assist with any issues. Negotiations about wages are between the company and our staff.

“With regards to the welfare, facilities are in place where possible. Due to the obvious restrictions within some of the tunnels, ATC is working with the other contractors at the stations to enable the use of their facilities.”

Latest news

Police conduct three Grenfell interviews under caution

Investigation moves to a new phase following year of forensic work
10 hours ago

Surge in orders to see Robertson turnover top £700m

Contractor to report 25% increase in work as it is now live on 237 sites
3 hours ago

MPs slam building inspection and materials testing regimes

Construction under fire for "conflicts of interest that are pervasive throughout the industry"
16 hours ago

Race starts for £75m portable modular homes deal

London borough launches initiative to move homes from site-to-site
11 hours ago

London council scraps £2bn Lendlease deal

Haringey rips-up agreement with developer to build 6,400 new homes
18 hours ago

Crane driver breaks back on Balfour Channel Tunnel site

Accident during £120m contract to install electricity cable between Great Britain and France
1 day ago

Bid race takes-off for London City airport terminal

Key main terminal expansion substructure and concrete works up for grabs
2 days ago

Kier fined £600,000 after concrete block hits worker

Court hears how lack of supervision led to accident on rail bridge site
1 day ago

Graham wins £90m Congleton link road

Project includes a 85m bridge over the River Dane
2 days ago

SES lands £20m M&E deal at soft drinks bottling plant

Work to start this month powering major extension to Rugby factory
18 hours ago

Suppliers unable to contact demolition giant Cuddy Group

Calls to head office going unanswered
2 days ago

Over 1,000 staff still stranded at Carillion

Official Receiver investigators are sifting through 6bn rows of data
2 days ago

Balfour set for £60m Strathclyde Uni teaching hub

Firm lined up for first major job in £650m building programme
2 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
3 months ago

60 jobs axed as Somerset building contractor sinks

Long-established R G Spiller enters administration
2 days ago

Nine in 10 councils breaking prompt payment rules

Findings emerge on six month anniversary of collapse of Carillion
3 days ago

Roadworks speed limit could be raised to 60mph

Motorway trials to test different limits through highways sites
2 days ago

McLaughlin & Harvey lands £50m Liverpool training centre

Construction to start in October on new academy
2 days ago

Plans in for final phase of £1bn Chelsea Barracks scheme

Last phase includes 126 affordable homes, and separate sports and medical centres
3 days ago

Joiners injured in temporary access platform collapse

Court hears how two workers plunged seven metres through unsafe platforms at hospital site
3 days ago

Green light for £50m Portsmouth Uni sports centre

Sports hub is the first project in a £400m University upgrade plan
3 days ago

Wates wins £161.5m Wembley resi blocks deal from Quintain

Latest deal is Wates largest ever award on a single site
6 days ago

Construction’s most considerate contractors win ultra site awards

Latest initiative rewards highest industry site standards and supply chain collaboration
3 days ago

Go-ahead for 37-storey Leeds student tower

Work to start before the end of this year on landmark student tower
6 days ago

Construction degrees come under fire from students

Students claim courses fail to prepare them for life in the industry
6 days ago

McAlpine to start £30m Manchester biomedical hub

Work to start in September on Citylabs 2.0 building project
7 days ago

Roofer in six metre plunge on to solid concrete floor

Court hears how worker suffered multiple fractures after plunge on refurbishment job
6 days ago

Cost of industry skills cards set to rise in September

CSCS leaders confirm 20% price rise per card to £36
7 days ago

£300m Bristol Uni campus approved

Work due to start on Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus early next year
6 days ago

Crossrail’s Sir Terry Morgan to lead HS2

Morgan replaces David Higgins as HS2 chairman next month
6 days ago

Contractor services