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Fri November 27 2020

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Unite calls for Scottish sites to remain shut

24 Apr Unite Scotland has called for all non-essential construction sites to remain closed and for there to be legislation on keeping workers 2m apart.

The demand follows a virtual meeting involving its leading construction representatives across Scotland.

The trade union said that it has been inundated by reports that construction workers continue to turn up for work at non-essential sites, and are having to use public transport or shared transport in order to comply with employer requests or face losing wages.

Unite has also repeated its call that the Scottish government follow the Welsh government's lead to legislate over social distancing. The Welsh government has introduced legislation compelling all employers to make sure their workers keep 2m apart.

John Gillespie, Unite Scotland construction chair, said: “Today’s vote re-confirms the position that Unite Scotland’s construction members do not wish to return to non-essential work until their safety can be guaranteed. We do not feel that the curve has been reduced to a level that takes enough pressure off our vital NHS workers in Scotland, and that construction workers should not be used as test subjects by building luxury flats to get an economy moving that values wealth at the expense of our health.”

Steven Dillion, Unite Scotland regional coordinator, added: “Unite’s members and their families must be protected. There is absolutely no benefit of trying to force workers back to work when their health is not protected. The construction industry has enough hazards as it is without throwing a deadly virus into the mix.”

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MPU

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