Page last updated at 19:01 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 20:01 UK

Migrant worker paid 8.80 a week

Skanska sign at King's Mill Hospital
The contractor said the issue has been resolved

Migrant workers on a construction site at an NHS hospital have taken home as little as 8.80 for a week's work, a union says.

Pay slips showed one man received the wages after rent deductions, a Union of Construction, Allied Trade and Technicians (UCATT) spokesman said.

The union said the migrant workers on the team were mostly Lithuanians.

Skanska, the firm overseeing the King's Mill Hospital project in Notts, said the situation has since been resolved.

The firm said all back pay will be given to the relevant workers on or around 2 July.

It said it took action after allegations were made against one of its sub-contractors.

When I first saw the wage slip it was disbelief - to see someone taking home 8.80 for a week's work
Steve Murphy, UCATT spokesman

UCATT general secretary Alan Ritchie, who said the workers were denied overtime pay and charged excessive deductions for rent, tools and utility bills, added: "We have been building up a large fact file of abuses of ganged workers.

"This case is the worst we have seen, these workers were virtually destitute. The fact it has occurred on a PFI site, using taxpayers money, is scandalous."

Steve Murphy, regional secretary for the UCATT Midlands region, said: "This is a terrible indictment for the construction industry. This is a well-organised site where we are generally able to protect construction workers from exploitation.

"When I first saw the wage slip it was disbelief - to see someone taking home 8.80 for a week's work."

In a statement, Skanska said it took such issues "very seriously".

It said: "Since this information was brought to the attention of Skanska, the company has worked with UCATT to resolve these issues and Skanska has attended meetings to address the points raised so that any losses due to the relevant workers would be resolved.

"On 24 June, matters were resolved with the parties involved. Skanska understands that all back pay will be paid to the relevant workers on or around 2 July.

"Skanska, for its part, has always had as its primary concern to ensure that the individuals working on its site were paid in accordance with the National Working Rule Agreement."

A spokesman for Sherwood Forest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs King's Mill Hospital, said: "This is entirely a matter for Skanska and its appointed sub-contractors."




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