finance

Construction giant warned not to resume £250m housing project



Construction company Morgan Sindall has been warned not to resume work on a £250 million housing development in Glasgow today.

The Scottish Government said it would remind the firm “of their responsibilities” after the Unite union raised concerns it was pressing ahead with a major development despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Unite said work on the Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area is scheduled to restart on Monday. Morgan Sindall Infrastructure is delivering the project for Glasgow City Council. The local authority has withdrawn its staff from the site.

The £250 million development is being built on a site the size of 56 football pitches and will include new housing, utilities and road infrastructure. It is the biggest such project in the UK outside of London.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon previously said construction should only continue on projects that are essential, such as hospitals, during the Covid-19 outbreak. Last week the newly formed Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum of 16 representative industry bodies advised member firms not to carry on with non-critical projects and housebuilders Springfield Homes, Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt downed tools.

Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish Secretary, said: “It’s absolutely staggering that the Sighthill regeneration project is scheduled to re-open on Monday.

“The Scottish Government’s instruction is not being adhered to and tougher measures must be brought forward with immediate effect.

“We need to ensure that workers’ pay including the self-employed are not harmed by the decision to close construction sites down which is why many workers continue to turn up.

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“The Scottish Government should be saying to Morgan Sindall and any other company that the rules in Scotland are that they are carrying out non-essential work, they must shut down and pay their workers.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The First Minister has been absolutely clear that all construction work must cease unless, for example, it is for an NHS facility.

“We absolutely understand the concerns raised by trade unions about this site and we will be in touch urgently with the contractors to remind them of their responsibilities.”

Morgan Sindall has been approached by the Press Association for comment.



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