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If they work like us, they should have the same pay as us!

The municipality-owned construction site of a heating facility, HOFOR BIO4, is scandalous regarding working environment, agreements and social dumping
Michael Bidstrup
Af

This summer, the construction site HOFOR BIO4 was center of quite some attention when scaffolding workers blocked the site. They did this when Czech scaffolding fitters worked without certificate for 135 kr per hour in addition to this, there are huge issues with working environment.

Michael Bidstrup works with structuring and concrete and is part of a crew of 32 concrete workers at the construction site. He experienced the working environments of the czech workers first hand.

“We thought it was a pity for them. They were treated like shit… They risked their lives. They looked so poor, when they arrived in the same worn-out clothes everyday and they did not dare speak to our group” says Michael Bidstrup.

”I don't want to be part of treating people like this. If they work like us, they should be paid the same as us! Otherwise it will harm all of us… the future and our children” he says.

THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG

The scaffolding workers had trouble getting through to HOFOR and took direct contact to the mayor Frank Jensen. He later stated to avisen.dk
”I expect that the HOFOR leadership will listen to the critique and concerns from the scaffolding workers and I know that the parties are in dialogue. We do not accept social dumping in Copenhagen”.

When the construction site came under scrutiny from the other construction unions it was clear that the scaffolding work was only the tip of the iceberg. Almost all other professions had cases of some kind to bring to court.

14 ACCESSION AGREEMENTS

A ringaround to the construction unions shows that so far 14 accession agreements have been made and several meetings have been held where the employers must document that they are upholding the terms in the agreements. The unions still struggle getting a clear overview of which companies and people are working on the site. 

One of the issues is that the unions are not allowed into the part of the site where the workers live. The official argument is, that the housing is placed at the construction site, which is secured against terrorism. If there was resolve to fix this, we could easily be granted access the unions agree.

52 WORKING ENVIROMENT INJUNCTION

The working environment agency has been very critical and they have passed 52 injunctions to the construction site which means they must make immediate corrections. 

“Since June 2016, the agency has visited the construction site 25 times. In addition to the injunctions they have been fined 6 times and received several prohibitions and guidelines” writes The Worker, a Danish newspaper in an article from early august. 

The critique concerns welding smoke, falling risks, scaffolding collapses and ear injuries among other things. In the beginning of September HOFOR has taken initiative to better security and working environment. The near future will show what will happen.