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Newham Council signs up to Unite Construction Charter to improve conditions of employment for staff and construction standards

11 September 2019 in Business and Council and democracy and Mayor
Newham Council is set to take another step forward for the workers it employs by signing up to the Unite Construction Charter.​​
The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, signed the Charter at City Hall on Wednesday 11 September, alongside the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, James Murray, and Jerry Swain, Unite’s National Officer.

Signing the Charter will see the council agree to a number of actions to help improve construction standard, protect workers, and outlaw poor construction practices.

Mayor Fiaz said: “I am proud that this administration has been able to make another step forward on behalf of our employees by signing up to the Unite Construction Charter.

“Without our hard working construction staff we would not be able to achieve the ambitious housing and regeneration targets I have set for the council, and which put us at the leading edge of social-rent house building across London.

“The Charter will not only improve employment standards for construction workers employed by this council, but also ensure that building projects undertaken by the council are delivered to the highest standard.”

The Construction Charter ensures the council will be operating under best practice, ensuring building contractors and sub-contractors under the control of the local authority provide apprentice training, a safe working environment, and the industry rate of pay to workers.

The signing of the Charter follows Newham Council’s decision to begin to paying its indirectly employed care staff the London Living Wage.

The Construction Charter is also in line with Mayor Fiaz’s Community Wealth Building agenda, which will see the council invest money locally in order to unleash the borough’s economic potential to the benefit of residents.

James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing & Residential Development said: “We very much welcome the London Borough of Newham signing up to Unite the Union’s Construction Charter, ensuring that projects in Newham will lead the way with the best construction practices.”

Peter Kavanagh, Unite regional secretary for London and Eastern said: “The Mayor of Newham, Mayor of London and Unite are joining forces to ensure our world class capital city has world class employment standards for construction workers.”

“The charter combines the GLA’s procurement power with Unite’s influence in the workplace to ensure construction projects under the control of the authority meet the highest standards.

“Workers will have the right to speak out on safety issues and be paid a fair rate for the job. The charter means there will be no blacklisting of workers.”