Contractor holds emergency talks after labour agencies threaten to sue UCATT over unfair treatment allegations
Bovis Lend Lease has moved to resolve a row over the use of immigrant labour at the BBC Scotland headquarters in Glasgow.
The move came after GX2, an employment agency that supplies labour to the site, threatened legal action against construction union UCATT. The agency has been angered by allegations made by local officials that foreign workers on the site were being treated unfairly.
Alan Ritchie, UCATT’s general secretary, held a meeting with Bovis directors on Monday morning to resolve the problem. Ritchie said the meeting was called after GX2 applied to the Glasgow sheriff’s court for an injunction calling for the allegations to cease.
After the meeting, Ritchie said he was satisfied that workers were being employed under the working rule agreement, which sets out employment practices and pay levels.
A spokesperson for Bovis said the firm was confident that foreign workers on the site were now being paid the correct pay “after a positive dialogue with UCATT”.
Graham Newall, director of GX2, said his company was guilty only of being ignorant of the union’s working rule agreement. He said: “After speaking to Bovis we have now solved the problem. I cannot comment on any legal proceedings.”
There needs to be a constructive dialogue with the agencies
Alan Ritchie, UCATT
Ritchie said: “I had a very positive meeting with Bovis. However, there does need to be a dialogue between labour agencies and union officials to ensure there is no foul play.”
Ritchie added that the meeting with Bovis would result in a better working relationship between the contractor and the unions, after the high-profile row over illegal labour at the Scottish parliament.
Last April, Ritchie claimed that Romanian workers were being exploited on the parliament site in Edinburgh, by having their flight and accommodation costs deducted from their pay.
At the time, Bovis said that a full investigation had taken place and the allegations had proved to be unfounded.