Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Scotland Has Joined The Party, Pictures, Site Worker And Unite

Today saw the fourth successive week of protests across the UK against the de-skilling of the Electrical and Mechanical Industry.

There was a protest in London at the Olympic Site, Pudding Mill Lane. Around 8 o'clock everyone marched to occupy Bow Road, the area's main through route—causing a rush hour tailback to the Bow Flyover on the A12. Police were forced to intervene and the road was reopened some time later.
At the protest in Grangemouth Oil Refinery, Scotland, Electricians and pipefitters working for Balfour Beatty, downed tools and unofficially walked off site to join the protest.
Electricians and pipefitters also protested at the Balfour Beatty job, Manchester Paper Mill.

Balfour Beatty today put in their HR1, putting 890 balfours lads on three month notice . The stakes are being raised daily now .They have told them that if they do not sign by December 7th then they will be facing the sack. This is on top of T. Clarkes and Spie Matthew Hall threatening their workers with action if they attend any of the protests.

There are three Rank and File meetings planned for the next couple weeks

Newcastle 16th September - 7:00pm Newcastle Labour Club, 19 Leazes Pk Road, NE1 4PF

London 21st September - 6:30pm Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC14 4RL

Manchester 1st October - 12am Midday The Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street, M1 6DD

It is important that you get along to these meetings whether you are a spark or not. This effects every construction worker.

The next protests are as follows:

21st September 6:30am

London - Farringdon Station -
Newcastle - Balfour Beatty, Percy Street 
Manchester - Rank and File protest at Manchester Town Hall. Follwed by a march to the Salford Media Centre at 9:30am

The Latest From Site Worker Magazine:
In a virtual declaration of war, Balfour Beaty Engineering Services has today issued 90 day Notices of termination to 890 of their workforce.

see below for more details:

This week at the TUC Ed Milliband made a speech condemning strikes whilst Paul Kenny of the GMB called for "Civil Disobedience"

This morning Civil disobedience took centre stage. Co-ordinated unofficial industrial action kicked off at major construction projects across the country. Electricians and Pipe-fitters working for Balfour Beatty Engineering Services at Grangemouth in Scotland walked off the job. In London, police were forced to intervene after 150 electricians blocked the main entrance to the Olympics site causing rush hour travel chaos with vehicles backing up around the A12 Bow Flyover. Further action also took place at Balfour Beatty's Papermill site in Manchester.

Yesterday the major electrical employers sent new contracts (with a 35% pay cut) to their staff with an ultimatum that anyone who did not sign them by 7th December would be sacked. 

The dispute has been sparked after eight major electrical contractors announced their intention to withdraw from the Joint Industry Board (JIB) national industry agreement. They are Bailey Building Services, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, Tommy Clarke, Crown House Technologies, Gratte Brothers, MJN Colston, SES and SPIE Matthew Hall.

The employers propose 3 new grades for electicians: metalworker £10.50 per hour, Wiring £12, Terminating £14. The current electricains JIB rate is £16.25p per hour across the board. For the worst hit this amounts to a 35% pay cut. 

Meanwhile, the chief executive of Balfour Beatty, one of the contractors, had given himself an 8% pay rise last year.

Alan Keys (one of the leaders of the action) said:
“It’s not the Polish or Portuguese workers who are cutting our wages, but the industry bosses.
They are attempting to drive down our wages to drive up their profits.
They can threaten to sack us and blacklist our stewards but if they think we are going to just sit back and accept this, they are very much mistaken.”

The last time the electrical contractors attempted to cut wages by de-skilling the electrical trade in 1999 it provoked a series of coordinated strikes on the Jubilee Line, Royal Opera House, Pfizers and power generation projects across the UK

And to top off all of that. Unite have released a new piece for their website LINK

If you are attending any protests not in London. please take some pictures so I can put them up on here. Thanks


 Manchester Paper Mill
 London, blocked road
 London Olympic Site
 London, Olympic Site

London, Olympic site

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