The move means contractors planning to work on building projects in the area will now need to directly employ workers rather than use payroll companies.
Vince Passfield, Unite deputy regional secretary for London and Eastern said: “Barking and Dagenham is the first London borough to back Unite’s pioneering Construction Charter.
“The charter combines the council’s procurement power with Unite’s influence in the workplace to ensure construction projects under the control of the borough meet the highest standards.
“Vitally, the charter also protects workers from the scourge of bogus self-employment.
“It ensures construction workers are directly employed instead of paying £20-30 a week to payroll companies just to get their wages.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council said: “We’re proud to be the first London council to sign Unite union’s Construction Charter, paving the way for many other London boroughs to get on board and ensure best practice is adopted across the capital.
“We’re an ambitious borough and there’s plenty of development to come for the benefit of our local residents.
“It’s important that while setting our sights on these new developments, we’re committed to making sure that workers aren’t exploited, are paid fairly, and that in our pursuit of growth no one will be left behind.
“We’ll be writing to all the contractors we work with to make it clear that if they want to do business with us, they need to get on board and act in a manner that is socially responsible.”
Pat Hayes, Managing Director at Be First, said: “As a council owned company we are committed to ensuring that our staff and those working for companies who work for us have the benefits of union membership and the safest working conditions.
“We are very pleased to sign up to the Unite Charter and to work towards getting our supply chain to comply with it.”