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Union stages protest at new hospital site

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Union stages protest at new hospital site

A PROTEST has been staged at the new hospital being built in Dumfries — criticising construction firm Laing O’Rourke.

On Thursday, construction workers trade union UCATT began what it claims will be a series of protests, in a dispute with Laing O’Rourke over its dealings with trade unions during the £212 million NHS project.
A statement from the union said: “UCATT officials have tried on several occasions to get access to the Dumfries hospital site but have not been allowed proper access and all communications have been completely ignored by Laing O’Rourke management.”
UCATT also allege that workers have not been allowed to speak to a union official in the canteen area during breaks.
And they say Laing O’Rourke management have ‘grudgingly’ suggested a room could be provided if they are provided with advance notice.
Responding, Laing O’Rourke note they have the largest directly employed operative workforce within the UK building and engineering industry, and views positive engagement between managers and employees as ‘vital’.
Aspokesman said: “We totally support the role of the trade union movement and the support they can provide to our employees and ourselves.
“In this instance, UCATT has not formally requested access to our Dumfries and Galloway project.
“We would, of course, be happy to discuss UCATT’s concerns regarding positive engagement.”
Laing O’Rourke say that trade unions are offered a slot within their sites to advertise the benefits of trade union membership.
A spokesman said: “In our view this is the most productive and professional environment for engagement.”

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