UNION chiefs have claimed Renfrewshire Council has breached its own construction charter by giving a contract the green light, writes Jack Thomson.  

Hub West Scotland has been approved as the main contractor for advance works at Paisley Town Hall, which will see works sub-contracted to Kier Construction. 

Unite the Union has called for an urgent meeting over the award, due to claims Kier has been involved in the blacklisting of employees in the past. 

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James O’Connell, regional industrial officer at Unite the Union, believes this could be in breach of the council’s own construction charter, adopted in September 2016.

He said: “The awarding of the contract to Kier Construction for the works at Paisley Town Hall is in potential conflict with Renfrewshire Council’s own construction charter. 

“Unite is requesting an urgent meeting and it’s vital that all decision makers are in attendance including councillors, council officials and Kier Construction to ensure that there is complete transparency and proof of no blacklisting activity. 

“It’s vital that workers are assured that any blacklisting activities have ceased and can never happen again.”

At Wednesday’s Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board, Councillor Jim Sheridan claimed: “They have a long history of blacklisting people. That needs to be taken seriously.”

Kier has said it does not condone blacklisting “in any form”. 

In a statement released by the company, a spokeswoman said: “Blacklisting is contrary to Kier’s policy of conducting its business in a responsible and ethical manner. 

“Kier does not condone blacklisting in any form.”

A Renfrewshire Council spokesman said: “The council is committed to ensuring all contracts we issue are delivered in an ethical and sustainable manner, and our construction charter sets out our ambition to work with contractors who promote fair work practices.

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“The council recognises the terms of the construction Charter. However, this contract has been awarded in accordance with the mandatory requirements of the procurement regulations which provide that all contractors are treated equally.

“Kier Construction were chosen for the advance works by our procurement partner hub West Scotland and the council’s Finance, Resources and Customer service Policy Board this week approved their appointment as sub-contractor.”

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