LABOUR will call on the council to work with trade unions to improve standards for construction workers.

The party wants the council to make sure that its contractors directly employ workers, adhere to minimum health and safety standards and provide welfare facilities.

It also wants contractors to work with the local authority to develop and implement a programme that addresses skills shortages and provides training opportunities to residents.

Shadow cabinet member for strategic housing and planning Martin Donaghy has asked the council to sign up to Unite the Union’s construction charter and support the Get Britain Building campaign.

The motion was tabled to be discussed at last night's council meeting where all councillors can have their say on the proposal.

It states: “As a local authority this council is responsible for the procurement of a multitude of construction projects. This council recommends to the leader of the council to commit to working with trade unions to achieve the highest standards and enter into the Unite the Union construction charter.”

Unite, the UK’s construction union, believes the key factors behind mental health problems in the industry are a result of the hire and fire culture.

It says that direct employment is low, engagements are short and most workers are either self-employed or recruited via agencies.

This is coupled with workers frequently living away from loved ones, a long hours culture in the industry and a macho culture.

The Labour motion was low down on the agenda last night so it may not be discussed until the following meeting in September.