Thursday, 22 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.

Both sides are upping the ante as we wait for Unite to get us the ballot we need.
Urgent request: All Sheperd’s employees have been called in today [Thursday] to their offices to get discuss signing ‘new’ contracts. People in London should try to get to the lobby whitch Unites officials are calling of Sheperd Engineering offices 160 Fleet Street, between 1 and 2pm today 
The big 8 are in our sites.
Bailey Building Services, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, Tommy Clarke, Crown House Technologies, Gratte Brothers, MJN Colston, SES and SPIE Matthew Hall.
And they better get the message!
Yesterday, Wednesday 21st saw another fantastic morning of protests and civil disobedience. In Newcastle 150 sparks brought the Tyne tunnel site to a halt for 2hours today even the employer accepted that the lads had a right to protest. While in London 300 sparks invaded Farringdon station Crossrail site. Manchester had 3 protests at BBES and 2 at NG Bailey.
More on the invasion! In a magnificent show of rank and file union workers power 3OO angry sparks, [and one carpenter] and supporters gathered at the Farringdon station Crossrail site at 6.30am.
A music box was booming out and Unite the union were out in force at last! Not sure if Bernard MCaulay was out doing his Xmas shopping, but we did get AGS Gail Cartmail to speak as well as London officer Harry Cowap and NEC construction member john Sheridan, speakers from RMT, UCU, CWU, and John McDonnell MP. Michael Dooley a candidate for the UCATT General Secretary summed it up brilliantly when he said " The multinational companies and their shareholders intend to take from you to ensure that they and their children prosper. Your future and that of your children's is being sacrificed at the expense of theirs. We will not let it happen”.
The scene was set, music, speeches, flags a waving and raw anger, it could only mean one thing. Invade the site! What ensued was amazing, the gates were no problem neither was the barrier, and the startled security soon disappeared. Don’t you just love a party with an atmosphere!
We didn’t find the site offices, but surrounded by diggers and cranes and workers on the site stood in awe and listened to more thunderous speeches this was it whose site our site rang out! After half an hour we marched off the site to the sound of ‘a message to you Rudy’ by the specials booming out of the sound system.
Site invasions are the way forward, main contractors will be asking “what’s going on” and it will  pressurise these jib firms to back off while telling unite ‘organise a ballot of all its construction workers starting with the sparks’!
Things we can do: Raise the following 2 motions through your branches and at your RISCS.
London construction branch motion 21st September agreed unanimously the following:
At the JIB deskilling protest at Farringdon Station on 21st September, Unite AGS Gail Cartmail announced her intention to organise a ‘National ballot of construction workers’. This is fantastic, however she [Gail Cartmail] followed this by explaining problems with membership lists. We acknowledge problems exist but this should not stop our ballot. The employers have already started reneging on JIB agreements we need to ballot now. The branch demands that unite organise a ballot immediately of all electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, HVCA and SJIB trades. It should look at balloting all BBES workers first and then the other 8 companies who are threatening to pull out of JIB. We demand that unite announce our intention to ballot for strike action before 30th November and we join public sector workers in their dispute. We demand a national meeting to co-ordinate our campaign open to all construction workers we also demand a national recruitment campaign to build for this strike.
Motion passed last week at the Unite South East Construction RISC, for the National Industrial Sector Conference 2011. Which may go before the National Committee this week or next week.
" This conference notes that in light of the infamous M&E 8 actions, with now the decision by 5 (BBES, CHt, Spie Matt Hall, SES & N.G. Bailey) of the 8, upping the stakes by issuing 90 days notice with the intention to dismiss, if employees don't sign inferior contracts by December.
1) Unite must now end all talks formal or informal with the employers etc and to put all their efforts, 100%, into organising a ballot for industrial action across the M&E National Agreements workforce. With also including electricians normally working under the JIB NWR, but who are temporary employed under NAECI.
2) Unite must also get involved in this process, plus Union recruitment, the thousands upon thousands of M&E workers who are denied employment under the M&E National Agreements by the M&E companies and who are forced on to employment agencies, with also a once and for all, the riding of the M&E construction National Agreements of these non-essential, parasitic employment agencies, nothing less will do.
3) We have had 20+ years of this, we have had enough."
Rank and File protests planned so far……

Edinburgh: Thursday 22nd September. 9.00am outside City Chambers. The City Councillors will meet to confirm that Balfour Beatty has won the contract to build the new Portobello High School. Let’s teach them a lesson!
Lyndsey Conoco site:  Monday 26th 6.15am 266 West Burton sparks voted to attend.  
London: Wednesday 28th September 630am Kings X Station platform 10 and 11 main concourse

Glasgow: Wednesday 28th September 7.00am New Veladrome Commonwealth games Stadium.
Rank and File meetings...........

Glasgow: Saturday 24th September 10.00am: John Smith House.

Newcastle: Monday 26th September 7pm Newcastle Labour club.

Liverpool: Thursday 29th September 7pm-9pm Friends meeting House, 22 School Lane L1

Manchester: Saturday October 1st 12.00- 3pm Mechanics Institute 103 Princess St M6.

London: Tuesday 11th October 6.30pm Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn.
Email us with ideas and let us know if you have actions planned

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