Fares, rail policy and DfT news

29.03.19

‘Absolutely scandalous’: union claims HS2 workers denied holiday and overtime pay

Hundreds of staff working on the London Euston station for HS2 are being “systematically denied” their entitled holiday and agreed overtime pay, according to Unite union.

Unite said it had received multiple payslips from employees of labour supplier Bowercross Construction employed on the enabling works currently underway at Euston by the Costain/Skanska Joint Venture (CSJV).

Costain Skanska has said it instructed Bowercross Construction to “meet out required standards with immediate effect” following the union’s complaint.

The payslips “reveal the denial of nationally agreed holiday entitlement and overtime rates,” breaking the ‘framework agreement’ signed between HS2 and the TUC in 2016.

Unite said that under the relevant national agreement, workers are entitled to 30 days of holiday per year, but the HS2 workers in question are only receiving 28 days according to the company’s policy.

The union also said it has seen payslips showing that workers are only receiving their standard rate of pay for overtime on Monday to Friday instead of the ‘time and a half’ pay they are entitled to in the CSJV agreement.

Unite national officer Jerry Swain said: “HS2 is the largest construction project in the UK and as such should be paying the highest pay rates and providing the best possible conditions.

“It is absolutely scandalous that workers on HS2 are systemically being denied the correct overtime rates and having holidays stolen from them.

“HS2 must launch an immediate investigation into these underpayments and ensure that the agreement they signed is being fully complied with for all constructions workers on all of its sites.”

Swain also said every worker should be compensated for the money they have been denied, and accused Costain and Skanska of ignoring the framework agreement.

Unite said the full scale of the pay discrepancies on the project is “difficult to ascertain” because the project’s management team were preventing Unite from having access to the workforce in the canteen during breaks, which the CSJV claim would compromise health, safety and welfare.

HS2 has had a number of conflicts of interest or procurement scandals, including an “illegal cartel” between suppliers, and most recently Bechtel announced it was suing HS2 after losing a £1bn contract to build the Old Oak Common station.

Image credit - Grimshaw Architects/PA Archive/PA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Ep.17 Becoming a data-driven railway, Kelley Quirk and Martin Mason

21/09/2020Ep.17 Becoming a data-driven railway, Kelley Quirk and Martin Mason

This week host Ailsa Cowen is joined by two guests from Network Rail. Martin Mason, Programme Manager, at Network Rail’s Digital Railway an... more >
Ely rail capacity upgrade open for public consultation

21/09/2020Ely rail capacity upgrade open for public consultation

Network Rail have today opened their first round of public consultation for proposals to upgrade the railway in and around Ely and will run for s... more >
Rail franchises to end, making way for a new railway

21/09/2020Rail franchises to end, making way for a new railway

After 24 years, the Department for Transport (DfT) has today (21st Sept) announced that rail franchising is to end, forming the early steps towar... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s network of independent repair facilities across the UK and further afield in its global network. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >