Friday, 16 September 2011

Latest Unite Construction Rank And File Newsletter........

The "Unite Construction Rank And File Group" are the group headed by the committee that was elected at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London on the 13th August 2011. Working together with the Site Worker magazine. To receive these weekly news updates directly to your email follow the LINK and join the group.

They have thrown down the gauntlet and Grangemouth shoved it down their throat!

In the battle to protect the JIB agreement from being ripped up five of the eight have upped the stakes. Balfour Beatty, Crown House Technologies, Spie Matthew Hall, Shepherd Engineering Services and NG Bailey have issued Unite with legal notice of their intention to dismiss, by giving the legally required 90 day notice to thousands of employees before re-engaging them on inferior contracts on December 7th.
So answering the TUC’s call this week for "Civil Disobedience" against the cuts, on Wednesday we obliged, and the action kicked off at across the country.
At the Grangemouth site in Scotland sparks and Pipe-fitters working for BBES voted to walk off the job marking a major advance in our struggle against de skilling and the vicious attacks on JIB agreement. Also in Scotland something sparks protested at the Faslane site.
In London150 protested at Olympic site blocked the main gate and then marched to the A12 main road and blocked the highway in to Stratford for 20 mins causing a major traffic jam eventually PC plod moved us on but it certainly caught the public attention which is great.
Manchester chipped in with a protest at the BBES Papermill site. It all amounted to another fantastic day of rank n file activity but, the 8 have declared war and 5 of them are going for a rout by issuing the December 7th deadline letters. The rank n file workers on these site must respond by downing tools and walking off site.
Unite are slowly getting involved 2 officials were at Olympic protest, while we welcome the support let’s be wary of a takeover followed by sell outs. This is a rank n file dispute and it’s our futures that at are at stake.
Unite has told employers that these bullying tactics will lead to a sharp deterioration in industrial relations on major sites up and down the country, putting into jeopardy the ability of companies to deliver projects on time and within budget. Unite has called on eight break-away construction companies, who are imposing semi-skilled grades into the mechanical and electrical sector, to ‘pull back from the brink’ before industrial relations deteriorates to harmful levels. Bernard McAulay, the National Officer has said: “These rogue employers should pull back from the brink as their attack on workers’ skills, pay and terms and conditions is causing widespread anger among workers.
Words are fine but Unite needs to be put under pressure to negotiate a proper deal for us. A ballot for strike action of all electricians, pipe-fitters and other trades would make that more likely. So inundate Bernard McAulay with emails demanding a date for the ballot. And don’t wait until the end of December, Mr McAuley.
Of course we want a ballot but we can’t afford to sit back and wait or it will be too late and we will be on £10 .50 an hour. So we must force the issue and spread these actions across the country Lets step it up a gear blockades, occupations traffic jams, until an agreement has been reached.

Rank and File meetings...........

Newcastle: Friday16th September 7pm in the Labour club.

Scotland: Saturday 17th Grangemouth Unite TU Office -Grangemouth Oil Refinery- September 10.00am

Scotland: Saturday 24th September Unite Regional Office - 10am

Liverpool: Thursday 29th September 7pm-9pm Friends meeting House, 22 School Lane LI 3BT

Manchester : Saturday October 1st 12.00- 3pm Mechanics Institute 103 Princess Street M6 DD

Rank and File protests planned so far……
Manchester: Wednesday 21st September 6.30am Manchester town hall & Baileys site BBC Media City at 10am.

London: 21st September 6.30am-8.30am Farringdon Station, Crown House site.

Ø It is imperative that everyone joins unite and elect stewards.
Ø Make sure stewards off the sites once elected meet area officials from unite before any meeting with your employer.
Ø Unite officers only meet with the employers when all stewards are present. None of this ‘we meet the employer, sort out a deal and tell you to accept it’ crap.
Ø That set up must come to and end, its totally undemocratic it may have been Hardacres style but he’s gone. Democracy is vital, a settlement on the rank and files terms is the only honourable settlement.
We are fighting for our futures and the future generations. Demand these basic trade union principals from unite no sell-outs we can and will win this dispute. Unity is strength !
Email us with ideas and let us know if you have actions planned


  1. Is the protest at Percy Street in Newcastle on the 21st still on, or is that off now?

  2. Unite FTO Supporting the fight against BESNA16 September 2011 at 19:46

    Nice work JIB Electrician - however, need to make a few corrections.

    The Grangemouth protest was organised by Unite members and officers who attended the Unite Construction meeting at the STUC on Saturday 10th September.

    The further meetings arranged for Scotland are -

    Grangemouth Unite TU Office - Grangemouth Oil Refinery - Sat 17th September - 10am

    Unite Regional Office - Saturday 24th September - 10am

    We were calling a meeting for Saturday 1st October - however, the People 1st March and Rally takes place in Glasgow - all welcome

  3. Anon - As far as I am aware the protest is still on. We will know more later this evening when the meeting has finished

    Unite FTO - Thanks for the corrections. I am just reposting the message from the email I received. I will make the alterations on here and Facebook. Would it be possible for yourself to email me please

  4. Unite FTO Supporting the fight against BESNA16 September 2011 at 19:53


    The Unite FTO's are doing all we can within the restrictions placed on us by the law - to encourage demonstrations and mass protests against these vicious proposals which if we allow to happen - will destroy our industry.

    We don't need division at this desperate time but collective action concentrating on the rogues intent on tearing up our agreements.

    The Rank and File committee have been welcomed by Unite and the officials - we ALL need to work together in solidarity. there is too much at stake for each to go it alone.

    Comrades - lets Organise to Win

    In solidarity...

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Unite FTO Supporting the fight against BESNA - Can you email me please

  7. FTO Supporting the fight against BESNA17 September 2011 at 17:11

    Hi JIB Electrician

    The next demo in Scotland will take place on Thursday 22nd September 2011 - time to be confirmed. Venue - City Chambers - Edinburgh.

    Edinburgh Councillors will confirm on this day that Balfour Beatty has won the contract to build the new Portobello High School.

    Will confirm arrangements when finalised.

  8. FTO Supporting the fight against BESNA17 September 2011 at 20:35

    Just a little info

    as an FTO of Unite - I NEVER want to meet with employers without stewards being present.

    As a steward I was part of a branch that saw the need to involve an official as a sign of failure.

    We need to get back to those days with our construction sector but it will take time. Members through their elected reps must set the tone and agenda - I have no problem with that philosophy....

    But - and here is the rub - All officers are here to assist through that process - the days of Jack Jone's steward movement is amongst us now - grasp it and use it to the advantage of all working people.. nuff said

  9. Any news about what's happening in Newcastle? I wasn't around on Friday so I missed the meeting, and I'd like to support whatever's going on, but if the protest's been rescheduled I don't want to end up standing around on my own at half 5 in the morning.