London Olympics Faces Industrial Relations Disaster 1170

Alan Ritchie, the general secretary of the construction union Ucatt has warned that the London 2012 Olympics faces an “industrial relations disaster” if the Olympic Delivery Authority did not agree a common site rate for construction workers on the Olympic Park.Mr Ritchie had been giving evidence this week to the Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform select committee about self-employment in the construction industry when he was questioned about the Olympics.

He gave the Olympic Delivery Authority “6 out of 10” for the negotiations he had been involved in at this stage.

However he warned that the failure of the ODA to agree a common site rate for different professions for the Olympics “was a potential recipe for an industrial relations disaster.

At its peak the Olympics will employ over 10,000 workers, working to between 25-45 major contractors and countless sub-contractors. Mr Ritchie said he believed there needed to be a “level playing field” on pay rates. He feared that without these workers being paid less than others for the same work would leave for better paid work on the site, causing instability and delays or alternatively down tools in protest.

During his evidence session Mr Ritchie also raised his concerns about the exploitation of migrant workers and estimated that around 350,000 were employed in the construction sector.

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