Unite is concerned that agency labour on a PFI hospital in Portsmouth is being used instead of local skilled workers

Unite is calling for a meeting with Carillion following concerns over agency labour on a £236m PFI hospital in Portsmouth.

The union said the contractor had failed to meet Unite officials to discussion concerns about the ‘skills competence’ of its workforce at Queen Alexandra, Cosham, which contains people employed by agencies.

It has asked Carillion to talks about the company taking on skilled workers who are coming to the end of their contract at Heathrow airport, T5.

The union said skilled workers from the site were having problems finding work at the hospital.

Frank Westerman, Unite regional officer said: “Hundreds of highly skilled workers from the Hampshire area are now looking for work close to their home and families. Many had hoped that they could find work at the new hospital at Cosham. Unfortunately, the company won’t even sit down with us to talk about taking on these workers. They seem to be happy using agency and casual labour that we suspect are not properly qualified to carry out the work.”

As well as having concerns about the quality of the build, Unite officials are worried about health and safety.

Westerman said: “When employers refuse to give the union access to construction sites we always worry about what it is they want to hide. I’m sure the people of Portsmouth want the ‘state of the art’ hospital that has been promised by Portsmouth NHS Hospital trust.”