What an unbelievable four weeks. It all started off with Balfour Beatty employees voting 67% in favour of strike action at the beginning of Feb.
Balfour Beatty then challenged this in the High Court. After hearing both side of the argument, Mr Justice Eady reserved the decision until the following week. (Wed 8th Feb)
So we carried on with our protests across the country.
The US Teamsters Union send a letter to Balfour Beatty stating their support for Unite and the M&E Workers being forced to sign new contracts. They also warn Balfours that if there is not an acceptable outcome to the dispute then they will have to act (Thur 9th Feb)
On Wed 15th in London, we converged on the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane.
Another great protest with some nice acts of civil disobedience thrown in. Reel News were there to film the events of the evening
The following day, (Thur 16th Feb) Mr Justice Eady gave the verdict of the Balfour Beatty injunction.
He ruled in favour of Unite the Union. The Verdict can be viewed HERE
Which meant that Balfour Beatty employees are allowed to legally strike. This would have seen the closure of Oil Refineries, Power Stations and many other major projects across the country.
On Friday 17th February, Balfour Beatty requested a meeting with Unite. They then released a joint statement with Balfour Beatty withdrawing from BESNA and Unite stopping strike action and protests against Balfour Beatty.
Two down, 6 to go.
This sent shock waves through the construction press and through the other six companies.
All attention then turned onto the NG Baileys. Saturday 18th Feb was announced as Morrisons day. There were protests at Morrisons stores across the whole of the UK as they use NG Baileys for all of the maintenance and install. There were around 20 protests nationwide.
On Monday 20th, around 60 M&E Workers went to the Morrisons Head office. They blocked the entrance to the office causing traffic jams for miles and lots of angry management trying to get in to work to give Mr Bailey a call.
Thursday 23rd Feb, NG Bailey announce that they are to follow Balfour Beatty and withdraw from BESNA.
Friday 24th Feb, the HVCA announce that it is to scrap BESNA and the companies therefore withdrew the threat of dismissal on their employees.
Unite and the companies agreed to enter talks to modernise the JIB and the whole industry. Later this month there will be six Rank & File members and six Unite Shop Stewards elected to represent us in these talks. This time we will be able to argue and fight our corner from inside the negotiations with full transparency.
Now we are back up to speed. Last night there was a meeting in London at Conway Hall
Short report from Steve Kelly
The first protest for direct employment/against agency abuse, will be at THE SHARD. MACE are the main contractor who constantly turn a blind eye to the flouting of laws and agreements by its contractors.
Wednesday 14th March 6:45am, The Shard
BOSON & DJ THOUGHT (official Mike Posner dubstep remixes)
KMT (fabric, Glastonbury, Passing Clouds, Favela Chic, Shunt)
Dave Smith: (Park Lane, Blackfriars, Kings Cross, Farringdon, Oxford St)