Prison governor Russ Trent invited Ucatt representative Terry Renshaw to tour the site of the new £212m HMP Berwyn Wrexham Prison that Lendlease is building. But according to Ucatt, Lendlease vetoed the planned visit, despite Mr Renshaw also being a local Flint town councillor.
Ucatt says that when Mr Renshaw arrived at the building site the Lendlease site manager overruled the governor and refused his guest access.
“The governor was shocked at Leadlease’s attitude and said he was the boss,” Mr Renshaw said. “But after a private consultation with Lendlease’s site manager, Neil Thomas, the governor backed down.”
Ucatt says that it has spent months trying to engage with Landlease on the HMP Berwyn site, making numerous approaches to have a meeting or a site visit, all of which have been rebuffed. On 15th April 15 2016 the site was raided by immigration officers who found illegal immigrants working there, one of which has now been jailed.
Terry Renshaw asked the site manager if that was why his entry was being blocked. “I told Neil Thomas that I should be given access because there were Ucatt members on site. He still refused. So I said ‘Are you worried because I might find more illegal immigrants working on a government contract site?’ And he said if you go to any industrial estate around here you’ll find half the workers are illegal immigrants. And this was his defence!”
Ucatt regional secretary Andy Fisher said: “Public money should never be used to employ constructors which employ illegal immigrants. And trade unions should never be refused access to a building site financed by public money, particularly having been invited on site by the client – the British government. Who do Lendlease think they are? This is a shameful state of affairs.”