MSPs Mount Pressure on Anti Union Laing O’Rourke

MSPs Mount Pressure on Anti Union Laing O’Rourke

Further pressure has been mounted on Laing O’Rourke to end its anti-union practices on public sector construction sites after a Scottish MSP tabled a Parliamentary motion criticising the company’s behaviour.

The motion was tabled by Colin Smyth Labour MSP for South Scotland. Mr Smyth’s motion criticises Laing O’Rourke for its refusal to provide trade union access to the £212 million major new hospital project in Dumfries and its similar practice on other public sector contracts.

The motion then states that Laing O’Rourke was a member of the notorious construction blacklisting organisation the Consulting Association and that the actions of Laing O’Rourke undermines the Scottish Government’s Fair Work Convention and “undermines workers’ rights and increases exploitation”.

Mr Smyth’s motion follows the UCATT protest outside of the hospital site earlier this month which was conducted following Laing O’Rourke’s refusal to grant officials access to the site.

Steve Dillon, Regional Secretary of UCATT Scotland, said: “Laing O’Rourke must provide proper access to their sites. This dispute is not going to go away. The Scottish Parliament and MSPS are not going to stand by and allow one company to ram raid its Fair Work Convention which is designed to prevent exploitation and abuse in the workplace.”

Mr Dillon added: “We welcome Mr Smyth’s motion on this really important issue and urge all MSPs to sign it, in order to demonstrate that they on the side of Scottish workers and support the right of trade unions to organise and represent workers.”


Notes to Editors:
The full motion tabled by Colin Smyth MSP

Motion S5M-02472: Colin Smyth, South Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 11/11/2016
Denial of Union Access by Laing O'Rourke

That the Parliament notes the recent demonstration by the construction workers’ union, UCATT, at the site of the new £212 million Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary in response to the reports that the principal contractor, Laing O’Rourke, has refused the union access; believes that this company has previously prevented union access from other publicly-funded infrastructure projects; understands that it was a member of the Consulting Association, which was reportedly involved in the blacklisting of construction workers; believes that the Scottish Government expects companies that are awarded public contracts to maintain high standards of business and professional conduct; considers that this type of activity by a contractor toward trade unions undermines the remedial steps called for in the government's procurement note on blacklisting, does not support the aspirations of the Fair Work Convention to promote a fair and balanced economy and undermines workers’ rights and increases exploitation, and supports the freedom of trade unions to organise and represent workers across the economy.
Supported by: Iain Gray, Monica Lennon, Neil Findlay, Elaine Smith, John Finnie, Claudia Beamish


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