A Scottish Labour MSP has written to the Scottish Government to seek answers as to why construction has not faced the same restrictions as it did in the country’s first lockdown.
Alex Rowley, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, penned the letter to Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for fair work, following concerns raised to him by those working in the industry.
He wrote, “One worker told me the other day that he works on a site for over 100 workers and there are two small toilets. Another, on a large site, talked about workers not socially distancing and not being able to do so, and also no social distancing in the canteen and poor provision of toilets. I have had another worker contact me and tell me his wife has been shielding because of illness and he is terrified he will pick the virus up at work and take it home to his wife.”
He continued by making mention of Unite’s statement which detailed the union’s ‘disbelief’ that non-essential construction was to continue in Scotland amidst the discovery of more transmissible Covid-19 strains. Mr Rowley added that many construction workers are fearful of catching the virus and equally fearful of losing their job and the repercussions that would follow.
The letter concluded, “As you know the reason we are in another lockdown scenario is that the new strain of the virus is much more transmissibte so it is difficult to work out why the government has treated the construction sector differently this time and is allowing workers to be put in a positionwhere they are frightened to go to work but frightened not to for fear of losing their jobs.
“I would ask that you give this matter your immediate attention and I look forward to hearing from you.”