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This Week in Construction (and Other) News | 31 May 2020

It's been a tumultuous week around the world as things begin to open up further. The state of affairs is summed up rather neatly in our roundup of news from construction and beyond.

Coming to Blows

Construction may have re-started in England, but that doesn't mean that everyone is comfortable on site. Construction News reported this week that at least three potentially dangerous altercations have arisen on sites around the country where workers are "paranoid" and "on edge" about the health implications of being back on site.

Main Contractors, CN reports, are struggling to manage the toll of continually changing guidance from the government and adapt their sites to suit. A situation facing potentially thousands of site workers was described by one unnamed source in the article:

"We've always worked a certain way, and that's all we've ever known," they tell CN. "All of a sudden, people are throwing in these new rules at us and expecting us to work to them, but we've not been given any instruction. When we've learned our trade, we've been to a college, and we've been shown how to do this and that. Now we're just getting pieces of paper thrown at us."

"Some people are really struggling to adapt to this way. It will definitely affect the health and safety of them [and] others [around them]."

Singapore Warned Against Cutting Migrant Construction Workers

With 90% of Singapore's COVID-19 cases being found in migrant workers, there have been calls for a reduction in the migrant worker population. Channel News Asia reports that "Singapore's foreign worker population and their housing conditions have been in the spotlight amid the COVID-19 outbreak, with some calling for change to migrant worker policies".

However, with a highly-skilled and ageing local population, industry leaders have warned against cutting back on help from overseas workers. The calls led the Singaporean, Indian and Malaysian Chambers of Commerce and Industry to release a joint statement in support of migrant workers.

Read the full story here: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/reducing-migrant-worker-affect-singapore-economy-higher-costs-12774646


And finally, the UK Prime Minister's Chief Advisor has come under intense criticism after driving 260 miles during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown. Cummings since made a public statement to explain his actions, but by doing so served to add more questions than answers in the minds of many observers.

The whole episode has sparked some rather interesting hashtags on Twitter...

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