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Leicester becomes 55th council to sign construction charter

Fifty-five local authorities have committed to reducing safety and health risks to construction workers by signing up to Unite the union’s Construction Charter. 

Sir Peter Soulsby, Leicester city mayor, and Paresh Patel, Unite regional secretary for the East Midlands, signed the charter
Leicester City Council is the latest council to sign the charter, which “gives workers the right to speak out on safety issues without fear”. 
 
It commits the signatory to working with Unite to achieve the highest standards in respect of safety and health, as well as working standards, apprenticeship training, direct employment status and the implementation of appropriate nationally agreed terms and conditions of employment. 
 
Building companies working on construction projects in the city now must ensure they adhere to the charter’s requirements. 
 
The city’s mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said: “As one of [Leicester’s] major employers, our priority is to ensure the highest standards of working conditions for all of our employees, and we want to work with other organisations that take the same approach.” 
 
Paresh Patel, Unite regional secretary for the East Midlands, said: “Construction is a hugely important part of the work local authorities do to support residents and the local economy. By signing up to Unite’s Construction Charter, Leicester City Council is also making a significant commitment to construction workers. 
 
“The charter gives workers the right to speak out on safety issues without fear, and to be paid a fair rate for the job. It means there will be no blacklisting of workers. Vitally it also ensures construction workers are directly employed.”
 
“Leicester City Council must be clear that any construction company seeking to work for the council must be prepared to follow the charter,” added Stuart Grice, Unite’s executive council member for construction.

 

Keeley Downey is acting deputy editor of IOSH Magazine. She is a former editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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