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Fri December 08 2023

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Turkey offer ignored at HS2 site

17 Dec 19 The long-running disagreement between construction union reps and the Costain Skanska Joint Venture (CSJV) working on HS2 preliminary works in London continues to rumble on.

There will be demonstrations outside CSJV’s Euston site today after CSJV bosses failed to respond to what was presented as a seasonal peace overture.

The Unite union wrote to CSJV senior management last month offering to stand down all demonstrations at the site in December in return for every worker on the site receiving a £25 voucher to buy a turkey for their Christmas dinner.

But CSJV offered no response, Unite says.

The long-running disagreement centres on Unite’s desire for greater and easier access to workers on site – during breaks in the workplace canteen.

Unite says that despite the lack of access it has managed to recruit ‘heavily’ on the site.

Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “As Christmas nears, Costain and Skanska have revealed that the spirit of Scrooge is alive and well.

“Unite suggested a ‘Turkey truce’, which would have acted as a goodwill gesture and created a less hostile environment in which to negotiate and resolve the real and growing problems on site. Yet CSJV is so arrogant and cares so little for the workforce, it did not even acknowledge this peace offering and instead gave it the bird.

“As a result protests, which could cause considerable disruption, are continuing and will do so into 2020.”

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