Demonstrators burst-in on Skanska meeting: Video

Grant Prior 6 months ago

Unite demonstrators stormed into a Skanska meeting in London this week as part of a long-running row over union representation on HS2.

A video of the protest shows the Unite delegation bursting-in to the meeting of Skanska’s European Works Council held at a hotel in Heathrow.

Unite claims its reps have been denied access to HS2 sites run by the SCS JV of Skanska/Costain/Strabag.

A Skanska spokesperson said: “Skanska invited Unite representatives to present to the first day of our European Works Council (EWC) meeting as our guests, so it was very disappointing that Unite chose to repay that invitation with such disruptive and disrespectful action on the second morning of the meeting.

“The claims made on the leaflet handed out to the delegates at the meeting contained a number of unfounded accusations and factual inaccuracies, including a request to ‘end the ban on union officers having access to workers’ when there has never been a ban in place.

“With regard to our HS2 works, we have offered Unite access which exceeds levels usually seen across the industry. This enables them to meet our team at inductions, work sites, in a dedicated room and our welfare area. Much of this access has been on offer since the start of the project, and enhanced arrangements were offered to Unite in January 2022.

“We continue to make contact with them to reiterate this offer as we seek to maintain an open dialogue with Unite and to allow them to carry out their activities. To date they have not taken up any of the arrangements offered, however they remain open to them.”

Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “Skanska have chosen yet again to misrepresent and mislead. Unite seek nothing more than standard access in line with the site access agreements signed by all of the other JVs building the line.

“Unite were allowed to speak to EWC delegates following demands from the Unite rep on the EWC, however they attempted to prohibit the Unite speaker from mentioning the conflict on HS2.

“No enhanced access arrangements have ever been made by Skanska. There are no ongoing talks as Skanska broke off talks and refused to offer the standard HS2 site access.

“Skanska’s actions have made members angry and what took place was an inevitable outcome.”

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