UCATT has accused the mainstream media of ignoring anti-union practices on the Alder Hey construction project in Liverpool and failing to report two deaths in the construction industry. The union says main contractor Laing O’Rourke is refusing to recru …

newspapersUCATT has accused the mainstream media of ignoring anti-union practices on the Alder Hey construction project in Liverpool and failing to report two deaths in the construction industry.

The union says main contractor Laing O’Rourke is refusing to recruit known trade unionists at Alder Hey, blocking access to union officials and not allowing shop stewards and safety reps, resulting in poor safety standards on the project, including a period earlier this year when there were three reportable accidents in just a few days.

It also says the media failed to cover the death of a construction worker killed by a falling beam on a site in Knowsley and that an incident in Stockport, when a worker fell through a fragile roof to his death, just a day after a fellow worker was injured in the same way, was similarly ignored by the national media.

Liverpool activist Bill Parry said: “Despite the oppressive and controversial nature of the project and regular protests outside the Alder Hey site, this has only generated a smattering of reporting in the local media and the problems have been ignored nationally.

“The death in Knowlsey was not even covered in the regional media. It is scandal that the media isn’t interested in this. Workers are dying nearly every week in construction, we have lost more workers in construction than soldiers since the invasion of Iraq.”

Andy Fisher, UCATT Regional Secretary for the North West Region, said: “The media have a duty to report issues that are affecting workers all too frequently these issues are being ignored.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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