UCATT calls for action to stop dirty tricks of Crossrail and tunnelling contractor Costain

UCATT has written to the Mayor of London and the Government’s Information Commissioner to protest at the increasing intimidation of workers outside several Crossrail construction depots. UCATT has called on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to launch an immediate investigation.

The union have held protests over a number of issues outside the Fisher Street tunnelling depot in central London including non-payment of workers and poor facilities, when workers and union officials were videoed by members of Crossrail/Costain staff. UCATT members were also harassed and threatened by security guards and a lorry driver outside the Crossrail Plumstead depot. One lorry drive threatened to run over union members.

UCATT has pointed out to the ICO and the Mayor of London that covert surveillance is contrary to the ICO guidelines, breaches the Data Protection Act and is just not appropriate in 21st century Britain.

Jerry Swain, UCATT Regional Secretary for London and the South East, said: “Crossrail is a huge, high-profile, public-funded infrastructure project in one of the great cities of the world. It should be a flagship construction project for London and the UK. Instead we’ve got nefarious surveillance akin to the Cold War, physical intimidation reminiscent of an authoritarian state and the working conditions of a banana republic.”

Mr Swain added: “We’re calling on both the ICO and the Mayor to step in and straighten out both Crossrail and the construction consortium Costain/ATC, as their behaviour is illegal, intimidatory, anti-social, and quite honesty an embarrassment. All parties – unions, workers, the Mayor, Crossrail, and Costain/ATC should want this fantastic infrastructure project to make London and the country proud. At the moment – it isn’t. And that must change.”

 

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