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Posted on 19 January 2018 at 15:00 GMT

Carillion and the construction industry

The following letter by Socialist Party member and construction worker Jimmy Tyson was published in the Liverpool Echo earlier this week:
Insecurity has long been a fact of life for Carillion-employed construction workers, photo the Socialist

Insecurity has long been a fact of life for Carillion-employed construction workers, photo the Socialist   (Click to enlarge)

Recent events surrounding construction giant Carillion have exposed the problem in general within the construction industry.

The media are reporting that thousands of jobs are at risk as a result of recent financial problems. But the reality is, that the majority of the men and women working on not just Carillion sites but all construction sites across the country have for years been living in fear of job insecurity.

The construction industry prefers to employ workers through bogus self employment, CIS [Construction Industry Scheme], umbrella companies and using exploitive employment agencies, all in order to exempt workers from employment law, notice period and holiday pay.

They have consistently tried to de-skill the industry with things like BESNA in order to employ unqualified electricians at a lower rate and modulisation to reduce the amount of qualified skilled workers needed on site. Also exploiting migrant workers, paying them less than their British counterparts.

Carillion refused to work with Unite the union in agreeing a national agreement when statistics show that unionised sites are safer, more productive sites.

In their drive to drive down wages what they ended up with was a load of unqualified workers and agency workers working on a week to week basis with no loyalty to a company who refuse to directly employ them; and no motivation.

This is why jobs have taken longer to complete - because of the total disrespect shown to hard working construction workers.

This isn't just a problem for Carillion, so all the other construction giants need to get their houses in order as this is the future of the industry if they don't end bogus self-employment, cooperate with trade unions and allow their sites to be fully unionised and start directly employing qualified trades men and women and paying union recognised rates of pay.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 19 January 2018 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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Related links:

Carillion:

triangleCapitalism fails NHS services in Liverpool: scrap PFI!

triangleWeak Tories must go. General election now!

triangleInterserve debts

triangleTories ensured Carillion meltdown went unchecked

triangleThe murky world of the 'Big Four' accountancy firms

Construction:

triangleNo return to unsafe construction sites

triangleHull construction workers force bosses to shut down site over health and safety fears

triangleConstruction site bosses put profits first

Workers:

triangleFund NHS and pay rise now

triangleTV: The English Game - how the working class made football the people's game

triangleCovid and the campuses

Jobs:

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: The fight for jobs

triangleJobs, training, pay, we want a future!

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