HS2 Protest

HS2 headquarters in Birmingham to be targeted in latest Unite anti-union busting demo

Unite, the UK’s construction union, will make the headquarters of the multi-billion pound HS2 development the focus of its latest demonstration against union busting on the project.

The demonstration will take place on Monday 7 October and follows the large protest and demonstration which took place at the Costain Skanska Joint Venture (CSJV) at Euston station today (Friday 4 October).

WHEN: Monday 7 October 08:00-09:30
WHERE: Two Snow Hill, Snow Hill Queensway, Birmingham B4 6GA

The demonstration on Monday is the latest in an escalating series of actions that Unite is organising to end union busting at HS2. Further demonstrations and protests will be occurring over the coming days and weeks.

Since early this year Unite has been barred from the standard industry practice of speaking to workers in the workplace canteen during their breaks at the Costain Skanska development.

The union busting activity is occurring despite HS2 having signed a framework agreement with the relevant unions before work began on the project which established minimum standards and good working practices, including union access to workers.

The protest at HS2’s headquarters is a result of the company failing to uphold its framework agreement and not ensuring that its contractor Costain/Skanska ends its union busting activities.

The West Midlands will be a particular focus of Unite’s campaign as there will be billions of pounds of investment spent in the region on the HS2 project.

Unite regional officer Stuart Baker said: “HS2 has dismally failed to uphold its framework agreement and has given Costain and Skanska free reign to undertake union busting activities.

“Unite in the West Midlands is not going to allow union busting on HS2 to spread along the line and infect the region. What has already been a significant problem for Unite in other regions will not be allowed to continue here and this is the start of the campaign Unite intends to pursue.

"By holding the demonstration today we are sending a clear message to HS2 to get its house in order and to stop allowing union busting on its watch.

“Unite West Midlands will not sit idly by watching taxpayers’ money being used for the further greed and profit of the rich main contractors and ultimately to the detriment of the workers and our members.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.

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