Union critical of Spanish construction companies using only Spanish labour and services

Outside companies should generate local economic activity, they say.

More involvement of local established companies in major construction projects is called for by the TGWU section of the union Unite.

The union speaks of "the tendency of the Spanish main contractor, to employ to carry out the different tasks, Spanish subcontractors, Spanish suppliers of plants, tools and materials, and a Spanish labour force in all areas, that is, administration, technical, manual etc and paid in euros."

The long established local construction companies have not participated in any of these major projects in any capacity, the union adds. Further, Spanish firms do not apply the CATA industry agreement, which is meant to be binding on the industry.

Now, with three new construction projects starting soon, "it is fundamental that we start on the right footing," they say.

The three new projects are the construction of the airport terminal, the associated road/tunnel network and the rental housing scheme - all multi-million pounds projects which the Government has awarded to Spanish companies.

The union has published a 12-point policy paper which says, among other things, that outside contractors should take onboard a percentage of local workforces, in administration, manual cleaning, security etc.

It calls for equality in credit terms, the 90-days for some and the 180-days for others to be eradicated. The union also says that employees are to be paid on the date due, not one or two weeks later, to avoid unnecessary hassle.

It wants outside companies doing business in Gibraltar to create direct or indirect employment "and generate local economic activity."

12 point plan

1) Full compliance of the C.A.T.A.

2) More involvement of local established companies in major project.

3) Use of local subcontractors.

4) Fair-trading.

5) SCSC scheme with identity cards.

6) Health and Safety.

7) Outside contractors to take on board a percentage of local workforces, be in administration, manual cleaning or security etc.

8) An increase in the staffing levels of the employment service, to monitor, enforce, and control contract of employment, agreements, vacancies and work permit controls, illegal labour.

9) Equality in credit terms. The ninety days for some and the one hundred and eighty days for others to be eradicated.

10) Government funding of a TGWU full time convenor for the construction industry to liaise with the Employment Services.

11) A pension or gratuity scheme to be introduced in consultation with the construction workers, with no freezing of pay awards, and should from part of the employment services notice of terms of engagement.

12) Employees to be paid on the date due, NOT one or two weeks later, thus avoiding unnecessary hassle.