Congress notes HS2 will dramatically cut journey times from London to the Midlands and the North promoting investment and creating jobs.
Congress further notes that HS2’s success relies on the thousands of construction workers employed to build it.
Congress notes the TUC and HS2 signed the Initial Framework Agreement in 2016 that should underpin standards, including on union organisation throughout the life of the project.
Congress is dismayed by the letter sent by CSJV to Unite on 30 August 2019 reiterating its refusal to allow union officials to undertake the standard practice of meeting workers during their breaks in the site’s canteens, a flagrant breach of the IFA.
The history of major infrastructure projects is that in the absence of good industrial relations projects are forever blighted by unsafe working practices, industrial disputes, low productivity, bullying, blacklisting and workforce exploitation.
Congress is aware Costain and Skanska are proven blacklisters and on the HS2 project Unite has exposed abuses including the underpayment of overtime and annual leave.
Congress commits to ensure that HS2 is built on good practice, including the industry’s norms on access to workers. To achieve this HS2 must uphold its own rules and protect workers on the project.
Congress calls upon the General Council and all affiliates to provide support for union access, initially to construction workers during break times in canteens, throughout the publicly funded project.
Congress calls upon HS2 to immediately enforce the IFA and ensure future suppliers comply with the standards agreed in 2016.
Seconder: Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen