Union members have been protesting outside the site of Everton’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
Unite representatives, who stood beside banners and a giant inflatable rat, gathered early on Friday morning to demonstrate, claiming lack of union access to the site.
The protest follows a similar demonstration outside the dock in August when workers said they were protesting about unions not being recognised on the site.
Despite the protests, a spokesperson for construction company Laing O’Rourke insisted they supported the rights of the workforce to join a trade union.
The statement said: “We are proud of the excellent progress on the new Everton stadium since work started a year ago. In that time, the dock infill and piling have been completed and the shape of the stadium is becoming visible as the structural steelwork is installed.
“None of this would have been possible without the highly committed workforce, who are passionate about delivering the project for the Club, the city and the people of Liverpool. We recognise and support the rights of the workforce to join a trade union.”
Councillor for Everton Ward Alfie Hincks said he welcomed the statement from Laing O’Rourke, but maintained it was vital to ensure the protection of workers rights on site.
He said: “I represent one of the most deprived areas in the country. The building of this stadium has been supported by people from different corners of society right across Liverpool. The way workers are treated on site should go hand in glove with that support.
“I welcome the statement, but has anything actually been done? Talk is cheap, action is precious.”
An Everton spokesperson said the demonstrations had been over the type of site access given to the union. The construction firm had previously offered Unite access to worker inductions, which had been rejected, they added.
The spokesperson continued: “Everton has an excellent working relationship with Laing O’Rourke, who have been clear in all their communication with the football club that they recognise the rights of workers to join unions and are not an anti-union organisation.
“As promised from the outset, the club has encouraged the contractor to have dialogue with the union in question, and this took place earlier this year. Laing O’Rourke offered site access to inductions at Bramley-Moore Dock but this offer was turned down by the union.
“Everton and Laing O’Rourke place enormous value on the people employed in building the club’s new home – demonstrated by our collective commitment on-site to health and safety, welfare of staff, employee development and providing best-in-class facilities on this transformational, once in a lifetime project.”
Unite has been contacted for a comment.