Over a thousand construction workers protested in Westminister yesterday over the treatment of migrant workers

Construction workers from across the country converged at Westminster on Wednesday to protest against the exploitation of migrant workers in the industry.

Amicus construction worker rally

The rally was organised by trade union Amicus, and its members were joined by construction unions Ucatt and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers.

Amicus said the industry’s national agreements for pay and conditions are being undermined by the use of temporary and agency workers.

It called for the government to use only directly-employed labour and for legislation to prevent the use of cheap labour, and the resulting exploitation of workers.

Amicus general secretary Derek Simpson said: “Without the protection of our national agreements, workers will continue to be exploited on building sites. We need to protect our national agreements and it is time the government set the standards for all workers in the construction industry."

Ucatt used the rally to set out five key demands to government. It wants:

  • A serious crackdown on bogus self-employment
  • The introduction of individual director liability in corporate manslaughter legislation
  • An increase in the number of work based apprenticeship schemes in the construction industry,
  • An increase in the pay of construction workers in the public sector
  • A dramatic increase in the number of social housing units being built.
Ucatt general secretary Alan Ritchie said; “This is not a shopping list of unrealistic demands. These are sensible realistic policies which will not just help construction workers but will benefit Britain as a whole.”

The organisers estimate over 1,000 workers attended the rally, which began with speeches at Westminster Hall and ended up at the House of Commons.