Unite was alerted that workers were living on a construction site at Abercorn Place on the Cricketers Estate in St Johns Wood, London. It contacted both Westminster City Council and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), but got no response from either organisation.
Unite’s investigations revealed that a group of migrant workers who were involved in renovating several apartment blocks were indeed living on the site. The renovation is being undertaken by a private development company called Kunta Kinte Ltd. (Company number 06645583.) Kunta Kinte Ltd is owned by the family of buy-to-let baron Mukurram Sattar. It bought the Abercorn estate from Westminster City Council.
Unite regional officer Paul Lomax observed a green sofa, clothes hanging on a washing line, several mattresses and bedding along with several food containers at the site.
Earlier this month, Mr Lomax wrote to the chief executive of Westminster council, Westminster building control department and the HSE with his concerns and urged them to take urgent action as the workers were potentially in serious physical danger.
However, he says that he has received no response.
“It is highly alarming that after raising serious safety questions where workers face death or serious injury,” he said. “Unite’s concerns have been totally ignored. Workers must never be allowed to live on a construction site, the potential for serious injury is huge and there are also massive occupational health issues that need to be considered.
“It is absolutely imperative that Westminster council and the HSE immediately take responsibility for this dangerous site and ensure that no one is living on this or any other building site.
“Legal action needs to be taken against any companies, contractors or subcontractors that have allowed these dangerous practices to occur.”