Thursday, 6 October 2011

Round Up Of Wednesdays Protests..........


6:30am on Oxford Street and there are no shops to buy any cigarettes, what a pain in the arse.
As soon as we walked out of Bond Street tube you could tell something was different. In the distance you could hear drums and music and there were police standing on every street corner. They were out in force today, but why? What has happened so far that would cause concern for them to be out and about. We walked around the backstreets first for a count up. Eight riot vans, seven motorcycles and around 50 officers. REALLY? The worst piece of law breaking I have seen so far on the protests is me throwing a fag but on the floor.
As we get closer to the Tommy Clarke site, Parkhouse (Owned by Land Securities), the drummers were in full flow and the music was blaring. Once again it seemed more like a carnival was about to start, which lifter spirits. We will need alot of that as the mornings start to get colder, darker and wetter.
At 6:30 there was already over 100 people there and the crowd grew to around 300 by 6:45. People started to step up to the mic to give speeches at this time and we moved into the road (N.Audley St) to get closer so we could hear. All was OK for around ten minutes until the police decided that we were not welcome in the road after all. So by force they started to get us out of the road. One fella took a tumble and was quickly attended to by the police medic. They soon gave up and just created a line down the middle of us giving anyone nearby a good shove now and then.
As we were evidently not welcome on that corner the cry went out to march down Oxford Street to Bond Street tube. (7:10, around 500) So off we went. Blocking off the whole road we marched down to Bond Street tube. The police were frantically trying to reorganise themselves and get in front to stop us getting to our destination.

We were held at the Oxford St / Gilbert St junction and so there we stayed. The sound system caught up and on went the speeches. After around 20 minutes of speeches and the arrival of quite alot more officers, the police once again decided that we were not wanted.
So did the police:
A)come up to the mic and explain to the spark (just about to get full flow in his speech) that we are blocking the public highway, could you please move it on to the pavement
OR B) group up on the front and side and all at once use over the top force to try and get us off the road
Obviously B was the answer, as you can see from this video at 3:45

So there was a power struggle to follow that with around 15 minutes of pushing to-and-fro. Eventually the over top tactics of the police were getting the upper hand so we turned around and marched back up Oxford St, back to the Parkhouse (Owned by Land Securities) site. The Unite officials were still there standing on the gate leafleting and talking to the lads as they went in and we marched straight past them which once again caught the police by surprise. They managed to stop us at the Oxford St / Park St junction were we set up camp again, setting up the sound system and listening to a few more speakers. (still blocking off oxford street, 7:55, around 550) We tried to march around the back of the site down Park St but the police were having none of it so we turned around and marched the other way around the site. Down N. Audley St around the back of the site and waited there making a load of noise until a Unite official was allowed on site to talk to the Clarkes Lads. Around 8:30 we were told that Unite were now on site speaking to them and our job for this week was complete.
Now we have to prepare for the Tate Modern, another T.Clarkes site

Some very good photos from the protest are available thanks to Guy Smallman
The protest was reported on BBC London News, with a interview by Unite. XFM, LBC and also on ITV London news bulletins throughout the day.

A report Of The Manchester and Liverpool Protests, by Hugh Caffrey

Construction electricians protested again this morning at the NG Baileys site on Manchester town hall against the big companies imposing 35% pay cuts and leaving the Joint Industry Board (JIB) national agreement. Action is starting to yield results.
Manchester’s Labour council are paying around £100m for the job. Baileys and others will be profiting twice over if they can now cut pay by 35%! A Labour councillor visited the protest and said this is unacceptable. These words need to be swiftly matched by deeds. The council should force Baileys to publicly renounce its pay-cutting and agreement-breaking, and ensure that on all council-linked projects there is no blacklisting and all workers are paid the union rate.
In Tameside another blacklisting company is having a hard time. Carillion is the main contractor on the Denton Academy school project, where blacklisted electricians have been protesting for weeks. This is reaching the local newspapers and the pressure is clearly being felt.
Liverpool sparks protested at the Shepherds site at the Central Library, including workers from other big sites on Merseyside who want to see action swiftly organised. There is no Liverpool protest next week, as workers from across the north-west unite to demonstrate at the Carrington paper mill site in Trafford borough.
Balfour Beattyth December. The “Siteworker north-west” leaflet was received with interest by many workers last time. Socialist Party members are helping produce a leaflet in Polish for migrant workers on site who apparently are working in extremely dangerous conditions. Rumours have circulated of a walk-out next Wednesday. The employers are split over this. Balfours say anyone refusing to work will be sacked. Lectec on the other hand say they don’t agree with leaving the JIB and will not discipline workers who don’t turn in. This is affecting the likes of the BMS labour agency.
Balfours are having a bad time of it. Apparently they may have lost the contract on Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport because their client disagrees with BB leaving the JIB. This needs to be confirmed but shows how the protests and walkouts are already rocking these ruthless profiteers.
The money is there, Laing O’Rourke squirreled away £10m in profits last year after dishing out a further £20m to the shareholders! Profits this year of £20m+ could deliver union-rate wages and safe working conditions, or more cream for the fat-cats.
Unite needs to lead from the front instead of from behind, move to ballot, and give full support to mass demonstrations at every site in Britain. Coupled with unofficial action from below, this can smash the pay-slashers’ deskilling agenda, begin to seriously unionise the sites, actually put an end to blacklisting and improve workers’ pay and conditions.
All north-west protest: Weds 12 October, 6.30-10am Carrington paper mill, 5 minutes from Carrington village, Greater Manchester.

Liverpool Central Library - Shepherd Engineering

Manchester Town Hall - No Good Baileys

Cambuslang, Glasgow

At 6:30 the crowd start gathering, Unite banners in and a bit of damp in the air. There were around 50 outside the site when Balfour Beatty workers started turning up. They all went inside and got dressed ready for work. The Fire Brigade came over just gone 7am with flasks of tea and some biscuits to share around. The site is meant to start at 7:30, so at exactly that time, every one of them walked off the job. To the cheers of the crowd and the Horns of the fire engines over the road. There was just over 100 men outside with regular toots from the Fire engines. They have been through exactly the same thing so are right behind us. A video below from Unite Scotland of the mornings events

Cambuslang, Lanarkshire -Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Training Centre - Balfour Beatty

Cambuslang, Lanarkshire -Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Training Centre - Balfour Beatty


Unfortunately I don't have any pictures for this one but around 70 lads turned up at Balfour Beattys Newcastle Office at 8am to voice their anger at the New Agreements.

Dates For The Rest Of This Week

Friday 7th October - 6:30am - Nottinghamshire - Ratcliffe Power Station, Ratcliffe On Sour, Nottinghamshire, NG11 0EE. Reel News will be there to make a video of the morning. A Spie WHS Site, there are 60 lads on site who have voted to walk out. Other trades on the job are walking out in solidarity and some sites in the area are also coming over to give support. BUT WE NEED MORE. Get yourselves over there tomorrow morning

Friday 7th October - 6:00PM Glasgow, Radisson Blu Hotel, Select Construction Awards Ceremony
All the Top Brass from the major contractors will be there. Unite have REFUSED to attend the event in an official capacity and have opted to stage a protest outside instead. Sources say that Ray O'Rourke (of Laing O'Rourke, who owns Crown House) will be there and as it is right in the Heart of Glasgow we should hopefully get some good media coverage.

We NEED numbers for this. Show the bosses what they have let themselves in for. It is after work so there is actually
Come on Glasgow. Give them a proper Scottish Welcome

I am not condoning throwing of items (eggs, paint) as that is highly illegal. But if you chose to, I would have a drink to it.

Saturday 8th October - Glasgow - There is a meeting but I cant find the time and location. Can anyone enlighten me??

Spread The Word. Keep The Faith 

No comments:

Post a Comment