At the November South Dublin County Council meeting a motion was passed calling for reform of the Safe Pass training for construction workers. The Safe Pass programme is a safety awareness programme for construction workers and all workers are required to renew their pass every 4 years. In recent years the cost of the training has been increasing and many employers do not pay for employees to attend. The motion asks for reform of the system with a view to looking at the prices and delivery of courses.
People Before Profit Councillor Madeleine Johansson who put forward the motion commented: “I was contacted by construction workers in relation to this issue who are concerned that the Safe Pass course has become a money making operation for some private companies. I am also concerned about the general treatment of construction workers with regards to common malpractices such as bogus self employment and poor conditions for agency workers.
“We are in the middle of a housing crisis and we need construction workers in order to build much needed housing. The average age of workers in the construction sector is increasing and we are facing a shortage of workers. Terms and conditions for workers need to improve to attract young people in to the trade, and the Safe Pass is just one of the issues highlighted to me. In the long term we need a state owned construction company that can build housing, and provide decent jobs for workers.”