Chief executive puts Terminal 5 workers at front line of plans to change face of construction industry.
Laing O'Rourke chief executive Ray O'Rourke has set out his ambitious plans to change the poor image of the construction industry across the world.

Writing in the Laing O'Rourke handbook for employees at Heathrow airport's Terminal 5 project in west London, O'Rourke tells his staff that the business will be driven by his desire to be a world leader in every part of its operations.

He writes: "We intend to make Laing O'Rourke the worldwide contractor of choice and position it at the forefront of best practice in those countries in which it operates, and influence others accordingly."

In the 49-page booklet O'Rourke also lays out how the firm is to set standards in the welfare of its workforce and in its employee relations. It says: "Laing O'Rourke is one of the world-leading construction companies and is at the forefront in achieving and maintaining good employee relations."

The corporate mission statement printed in the handbook explains the management philosophy that lies behind the company's core strategies.

The mission statement has adopted the slogan "MOVE: management and operation with vision and efficiency", which "presents a company-wide challenge for a cultural change".

Laing O'Rourke's aims are to be the company of choice for all stakeholders; challenge and change the poor image of construction worldwide; and adopt processes to compete with world-leading businesses.

In the handbook, which has been agreed with construction unions, Laing O'Rourke lays down groundbreaking terms and conditions for its Terminal 5 workforce, agreed as part of the £55,000-a-year deal.

It prescribes how workers should behave on the T5 site, with particular respect to health and safety standards. The handbook also sets out unprecedented levels of control in telling workers how they should behave towards the local community as part of the company's "good neighbour policy".

The handbook says that workers must drive with consideration and within speed limits; keep the roads clear of mud and litter; meet legal obligations when renting property; not participate in drunken or antisocial behaviour; not intimidate or threaten anyone within those communities; and pay bills promptly.

The handbook stresses that the company's commitments to the policy "must be met" and that if they are not met voluntarily then Laing O'Rourke will take whatever steps were necessary, "even if it means terminating the employment of those who are not prepared to be a good neighbour".

Laing O'Rourke was this month named Britain's best concrete contractor in the Building specialist contractor awards.

n Union and employer negotiators working to achieve a pay deal for electricians at T5 have finally settled on a major projects agreement for the site.

The deal will apply retrospectively, meaning that some workers will receive back pay for 2003.

After months of negotiations, the two sides have agreed that workers within 15 miles of the site will be allocated a travel pay allowance in a bid to match a similar deal agreed by Laing O'Rourke, which stipulates that its workers will receive £25 a day in travel allowances.

  As Building went to press, workers on the site were expected to ratify the deal on Wednesday. An employer's forum will debate the agreement on 4 December.

At a glance: The Laing O’Rourke mission statement

Laing O’Rourke aims to:
  • Be the “company of choice for all stakeholders”

  • Challenge and change the poor image of construction worldwide

  • Adopt processes to compete with world-leading businesses

  • Concentrate on developing a unified commitment at all levels to “MOVE: management and operation with vision and efficiency”.