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Unite concerned with the influx of ‘cowboy’ companies in the construction industry

Unite the Union has called on Gibraltar’s leading construction companies to ensure that any hired labour abide to local standards, as it highlighted a “surge of unscrupulous employers” within the industry.
According to the union there has been a “concerning” influx of “cowboy” companies in the construction industry recently.
And, in a statement, the union said some contractors need reminding that they are required to abide by certain legal standards.
Unite said: “This comes about as a surge of unscrupulous employers within the industry, not only are they not abiding by the construction and allied trades agreement, but even worse, in breach of the minimum standards set out in the employment legislation in Gibraltar.”
“The growing list of complaints from our members includes the non-payment of wages on the agreed date, incurring financial hardship on our members who in some cases have been owed, up to three months of their hard earned income.”
The union also highlighted the unlawful deduction of wages, the undercutting of agreed rates of pay/overtime and not being issued with a pay slip which is a requirement under Gibraltar’s employment legislation as a few of the many examples of the growing list of complaints by its members.
Gillian Birkett, Regional Officer of Unite the Union, said: “In some of the current cases we have initiated our internal processes, with a view to filling a number of complaints in the industrial tribunal. Unite is coming to the point where we will name and shame and campaign against these “cowboy companies”.
“It is essential that main construction companies and sub-contractors abide by requirements for the protection of workers. They are designed to ensure appropriate payments are made, and to make sure that a work environment is safe for everyone’s benefit including the employer.”
“Many of these “cowboy companies” have been contracted by Gibraltar’s leading companies and we therefore call on all of Gibraltar’s main contractors, to ensure that any hired labour abide to local standards”.