Saturday, 10 December 2011

Rank & File - Siteworker Round Up Of Wednesday

7th December was supposed to be the 1st day of action in the electricians dispute following the magnificent Balfour Beatty ballot result 81% in favour of industrial action.
Shamefully Unite the union capitulated and have decided to re-ballot after the threat of an injunction by BB. It was claimed by BB that 25 office workers (unite members) were not balloted. This small number wouldn't have made any difference to the result. The result will not now be known until 6th January.
But it's not only the Arab Spring that knows how to use facebook, twitter and text messaging. The rank n file rose to the occasion on 7th December. It was the biggest nationally coordinated unofficial strike seen in any industry for many years. Thousands of workers were involved. There were protests and picketlines at a number of BB sites in Scotland, Grangemouth, Glasgow, Wales, Cardiff, Humberside, Manchester, Liverpool, London where there were running battles with the police.
A 500 strong picket was put on at Blackfriars, Bob Crow spoke as well as many other trade union reps, John McDonnel MP, members of Unite EC also spoke many thanks to all. Also a protest was held at BB HQ in Victoria and a protest at Grattes site in Victoria , some bright spark set off fire alarms stopping production for 2 hours when the workers refused to go back in through our spontaneous picket-line. A meeting was held in the street with site workers to convince them to join us maybe they will next time.
In Scotland Camblasang fire station site offices were occupied , and a protest at BB HQ , Grangemouth was out in support. liverpool , teeside , hull , cardiff , all had protests and pickets on large sites. Manchester protested outside the town hall and protestors got into the council meeting a labour council demanding that Laing O'Rourke and NG Bailey are removed from the project as they are blacklisters. Labour MPs have agreed to meet rnf committee members to discuss this soon. The whole day was a brilliant success and was rounded off with a picket on Blackfriars nightshift no sparks worked there at all that day and there was support from scaffolders and cable pullers who refused to cross the picket lines.
The days event shows the enormous power and potential of the rank n file when they pull together. This dispute may go on for many months yet as the rogue 7 dig there heels in. We must continue the weekly protests and maintain the numbers , and push unite to make it an official strike in construction in new year , whatever happens the rank n file have transformed the construction sector of unite in the last 4 months, we should get involved with official union not to would be a mistake, use our rank n file power to get onto sector committees and jib bodies, put motions through our branches and make it union policy.
Fight the blacklist, expose any collusion unite would like to brush this under the carpet. There are 100s of blacklisted sparks experienced stewards who cannot get work in construction, Unite should challenge employers who are still blacklisting and site workers must demand and help these workers to get onto sites .
We mustn't give a penny to the bosses we have lost enough over the last 10 years enough is enough. No cuts no changes to jib agreement no sell outs! .The NAIECI agreement is also under attack this is another area to be organised by the rank n file JIB workers can assist each other.
Make no mistake if the sparks and pipefitters agreements are smashed other trades will be targeted next.
Stand firm , educate , agitate , organise !
Victory to construction workers!
Thanks to support from all the different political groups involved and unite members , and other trade unionists and MPs.
many thanks and gratitude for kind donations received so far
By Alan Keys
To contact the Rank n File Committee:

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