Renfrewshire Council signs new construction charter

renfrewshire-councilConstruction firms who want to get work from Renfrewshire Council will have to agree to promote local employment, fair wages and worker protection after the local authority signed a new charter.

The Renfrewshire Council Construction Charter, which has been drawn up with the help of trade union Unite, is designed to stamp out bad industry practices such as bogus self-employment schemes, on construction sites in the county.

Agreeing the Charter last week, Renfrewshire Council said it also wants the Scottish Government to ensure that the Scottish Futures Trust makes the Charter part of its obligations on building companies for any work in Renfrewshire.

The signing of the charter, which promotes local employment, fair wages and worker protection, has been welcomed by union Unite who helped draw up the document.

Cllr Jim Harte, who proposed the document, said: “When the council spends public money, we want to make sure it is going to companies who are investing in the local community, paying a fair wage and treating their workers with dignity and respect.

“The charter makes it clear that the council expects health and safety standards to be rigorously implemented and adhered to. We’ll expect companies to promote and improve opportunities in education and training, so that local people can help fill the construction skills gap and learn for the future. They should also promote and encourage full apprenticeships for local young people.

“This council is a Living Wage employer and we want all construction companies to follow that example, including encouraging them to register as Scottish Living Wage Employers.”

Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty added: “We would like to thank the councillors who supported this Charter.

“This is a most welcome step in the right direction, protecting the right of construction workers is an ongoing struggle. We’re particularly pleased that the Charter says companies must certify that they have not engaged in the practice of blacklisting workers for any reason.

“Now that this Charter has been agreed in Renfrewshire, we will be pushing for other public bodies across Scotland to follow their example, including the Scottish Futures Trust – the Scottish Government agency that is bringing private finance into public construction projects.”

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