Unions plan living wage protests

Union activists are planning demonstrations outside the offices of construction employers’ organisations in protest in protest against their refusal to adopt the London Living Wage for construction workers.

Trades unions Ucatt and Unite are staging their protests from 8am on Wednesday 19th August outside the offices of the Home Builders Federation, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association and the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation.

Last month the employers on the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) blocked union proposals that all workers employed in the London area and covered by the agreement should receive at least the London Living Wage. Currently the rate for labourers and general operative working under the CIJC is £8.52 an hour; the London Living Wage is £9.15 an hour.

Ucatt regional secretary Jerry Swain said: “The employers are treating workers with absolute contempt. Many construction workers are employed in brutal conditions and have to work excessive hours just to make ends meet. It is frankly disgusting that they should be employed on pay rates below what you need to live on in London.”

Unite deputy regional secretary Vince Passfield added: “London’s prosperity is partly based on the building boom across the city, yet the very construction workers creating the wealth are being denied the London Living Wage deemed the basic income required to live in one of the world’s most expensive cities.”