Unite secures access agreement on Align’s HS2 sites

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HS2’s main contractor Align has agreed to allow Unite officials to visit the welfare facilities of its sites and speak to workers during their breaks

The access agreement has been signed between the union and Align which comprises, Bouygues, Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine and Volker Fitzpatrick.

The access agreement ensures that Unite construction officials will be able to visit the welfare facilities of Align sites on HS2 and speak to workers during their breaks.

This will allow union officers to explain the benefits of union membership and deal with any problems or concerns workers may have.

The access agreement is the second to be formally signed on the HS2 project, following confirmation in June that Unite will have access to the workforce on the new Euston station development which is being built by Mace/Dragados.

Further access agreements to various other sections of the HS2 development are currently under negotiation.

‘An important agreement’

Unite national officer for construction, Jerry Swain, said: “This is an important agreement and will ensure that thousands of workers on this section of the HS2 development will be able to freely meet and speak to Unite officials.

“It is pleasing to see that Align, unlike some other HS2 contractors, has demonstrated an enlightened approach to trade union access and Unite looks forward to working constructively with the joint-venture throughout the life of this project.

“Unite is entirely committed to ensuring that all sections of the current HS2 development reach similar agreements.

“We will not allow employers to refuse us access as part of a cynical policy of denying workers their rights and undermining national agreements.

“Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers’ living standards.”

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