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More trade union recognition at HS2’s Old Oak Common site

Trade union Unite has revealed that it has now secured agreement with three of the four joint venture companies involved with HS2’s Old Oak Common construction site.

Balfour Beatty, Vinca and SYSTRA (BBVS) agreement allows Unite the right to visit the project and its representative access to rest facilities at the site to talk to workers during their breaks about any worries or concerns they may have.

The only joint venture company without an access agreement is Skanska, Costain, Strabag (SCS), which is responsible for the London tunnels.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This agreement is the culmination of two years of relentless campaigning by Unite to gain formal access to the Old Oak Common site. Construction workers can now speak directly to Unite about all employment and safety concerns.

“Unite is now in a stronger position to help defend and improve jobs, pay and conditions for HS2 workers at Old Oak Common.”

Unite regional officer Declan Murphy said: “Agreeing trade union site access should be a matter of course for all construction contractors. But the successful campaign to achieve the agreement with BBVS shows that Unite will overcome any obstacle put in its way to ensure workers are not denied union access. Unite will now be turning its complete attention to securing a site access agreement for SCS workers.”

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