Queensferry Crossing low pay probe moves forward

A view of the gap between the north and south sections of the Queensferry Crossing. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

A view of the gap between the north and south sections of the Queensferry Crossing. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

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Economy Secretary Keith Brown will ask an arbitration service to work with the lead contractor building the Queensferry Crossing, Transport Scotland and a construction union to investigate allegations of low pay on the £1.4 billion project.

Mr Brown met representatives from construction union UCATT and Labour MSP Neil Findlay at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday.

Labour has called for a pay audit of the scheme after UCATT claimed Portuguese sub-contractor Sosia Ltd paid joiners £7.67 an hour and labourers £6.32 an hour - compared with the Construction Joint Industry Council agreement of minimum rates of £11.61 and £8.73 respectively.

Mr Brown said: “I advised UCATT that I had ensured that their allegations regarding low pay had been fully investigated, with no evidence being uncovered to substantiate the allegations. In response, UCATT have advised that they remained of the view that such practices had been prevalent.

“I have therefore offered to ask Acas to undertake further work in conjunction with Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC), Transport Scotland and UCATT to examine this and related issues. UCATT have agreed with this approach.

“It remains the responsibility of our contractor FCBC to manage matters relating to its workforce and sub-contractors. The Scottish Government will continue to work together with all parties to ensure that all obligations over workers’ rights, health and safety and pay are being met on the Forth Replacement Crossing project.”

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