Shut The Sites

Following Boris Johnson’s speech calling on the construction industry to return to work, workers have released a video on social media that calls the government strategy social murder. The video was produced by the grassroots Shut The Sitescampaign, which is calling for the closure of all non-essential building sites and for all workers to be paid irrespective of whether they are employees, self-employed or agency workers. The video has contributions from 5 construction workers and a 9 year old daughter of a building worker being forced back onto site, but also features:

  • Professor Steve Tombs from the Open University who describing the new return to work strategy says “the government must know that construction workers are exposed to and unwitting carriers of coronavirus. In my view this is criminal negligence, its manslaughter, its social murder”
  • Simon Hester, an ex-Health & Safety Executive lead inspector for construction in London for 18 years (currently working on safety on behalf of unions representing building workers at the Qatar World Cup)
  • Professor Sian Moore, University of Greenwich who calls for all construction workers to be paid furlough money irrespective of their employment status
  • Mark Anthony, the Editor of the construction trade magazine Demolition News 
On the very day the Government urges all construction workers to return to work, the Office of National Statistics releases figure showing that keeping sites open has led to three times as many deaths of construction workers as healthcare professionals. Hundreds more will die if this appalling policy is allowed to continue – so Shut The Sites are calling for collective organisation to stop the carnage. Video can be seen here on YouTube –>
Shut The Sites is a grassroots movement set up by a group of construction workers including an electrician, engineer, bricklayer and project manager. STS is one of the only campaigns organising nationwide protest against government policies that are directly affecting the lives of millions of people across the UK. STS has become the voice of the construction worker who feels they cannot speak out themselves due to concerns over blacklisting. Construction workers on site are being encouraged to join a union and take action collectively to protect themselves and their families, alongside demonstrations by members of local communities at sites near them. The STS Facebook Page has a community of 2000 and is growing daily.
The campaign has three objectives: 
  • Shut all non essential construction sites
  • Pay every worker, regardless of employment status
  • Ensure that the critical works continue with the highest level of H&S possible to protect workers.