Wednesday, 12 October 2011

London Construction Branch Meeting Write up.......

This evening saw the London Construction Branch meeting at Conway Hall. Unite were there in full force with Gail Cartmail (Assistant General Secretary), Bernard McAuley (National Construction Officer) and Vince Passfield (London Regional Officer)

After a couple off beers in the nice and cheap Samuel Smiths pub round the corner, we arrived just in time for the 6:30 start. The meeting was split in to two halves. Unite first and then the Rank and File.

The Unite part of the meeting was kicked off by Vince who went on to tell us about what is happening, BESNA and some other bits that have been said a few times before. Also spoke about being questioned by police for an hour after last weeks protests. Trying to find out information on future protests etc.

A representative from the American Union, The Brootherhood of Teamsters got up and spoke. He offered his solidaity, confirmed that they would be at the protest tomorrow at The Tate Modern and asked us to attend thier protest outside Sotherby's this Thursday. They are currently in dispute in New York. Information can be found here

Steve Kelly then took to the podium and read out the email from Bernard McAuley, hit Unite with the Blacklist problems and even got heckled by Malcolm Bonnet the Unite Officer for South East. Who was quickly spoken to by Vince and remained quiet after that.

Bernard McAuley then took the mic and explained the email and the points raised in it. He apologised, asked that we unite, move on together and put it behind us. Some will be happy with that, some wont. Time will tell.
He spoke about the legality issues with the ballot. 

How Balfour are the main target. Get them and the rest will scatter. 
There are 1690 affected workers at Balfour Beatty and Unite are gathering all their details as we speak.
HVCA/BESNA have applied for the CSCS card issuing license so that they can have their own card grading scheme. Unite, UCATT and GMB are leading a three pronged attack/lobby against the license being granted.
I got the impression that John Moore, Balfour Beatty MD is a bit of a twat

Made a few points about BESNA, one that I hadn't noticed yet, the 37.5 hour week. At the moment it is split into 7.5 hour days, Monday to Friday. Under BESNA it is 37.5 hours over the week. The worked hours are at the companies discretion. So you could have to work three 12.5 hour days and sit at home for the rest of the week as that's your core hours done. Once again, nothing is in stone. All too flimsy, with it all in the companies court.
There will be an important update with regards to the ballot early next week.
Sellafield have stated to Balfour Beatty and Crown House that they are not happy with the situation. They are not happy with BESNA. They want workers engaged under the JIB and will NOT tolerate any protests, walk outs, strikes on their site.
The underlying message was that Unite are restricted in what they can do due to legal reasons but as rank and file we are not held back by the law and Bernard said "You know what you have got to do".

Gail Cartmail then took to the stage and spoke. First thing she mentioned was to do with her husband and her arse (ooh er missus). She went on to speak about her investigation into Blacklisting, offering her full support and admitted that there was still alot more work to be done. 
Outlined that Balfour Beatty are the main target. Get the big one and the others will melt.
Spoke about the fact that the companies are using Section 188
It is the intention of Unite to take the Ballot forward within the week.
She echoed the message from Bernard that "You know what you have got to do".

There was a Q&A session that followed. Some good points raised and
That was the Unite part of the meeting out of the way. So as to protect the Untie officials from knowing information about forthcoming protests they left the stage.

Steve Kelly took to the stage again. 
We elected a London Rank and File committee to help organise and co-ordinate the London protests.
Four people were elected, Steve being one of them.
On Wednesday at Oxford Street a spark was arrested for a public order offence. He received a caution and a 6 hour spell in the cells. Because of this he lost a days money. At the end Steve collected a whipround to put some money the blokes way for the loss of his days money. The excess that was collected will be put into the Rank and File committee collection. 
Future targets and tactics were discussed but I will keep those quiet for the time being.

All in all I thought it was a positive meeting. 

Union are tied by law. 
They are behind the RnF movement.
"You know what you have got to do" basically translates to give them hell. Walk off, protests, unoffical action is the way forward.
The ballot is not far away, keep calm. 
Target Balfour Beatty
Nice to see the Teamsters here offering Solidarity whilst in the area.

I have probably missed loads out but I am tired and am getting up in four hours to get to The Tate

One final point, Blane Judd is also a bit of a twat

Good luck to all in the morning. Keep The Faith

No comments:

Post a Comment