Thursday, 21 June 2012

Rank & File Updates From Both Sides Of The Border

Rank & File Updates From Both Sides Of Hadrians Wall

 Who's 'Playing by the Rules'?

More violations of Rule 17 and other news

FIRMS will try it on if they think they can get away with it. BBES have won a refurb job of Sea Containers House in London, we've heard agencies are lined up already so a protest and leafleting will be arranged soon. Crown House at Heathrow are up to no good so they are another legitimate target for the Rank and File. Countrywide these firms are breaking Rule 17 constantly. If you haven't got the 'Play by the Rules' leaflets and stickers contact your regional offices - phone numbers are on the Unite website. We will be getting some soon and can post you some...
if you get no joy locally.

Another walkout

Please seriously consider a protest in your area and leafleting of sites - we need to put these firms under pressure big time - they are having us over. Well done to the lads in Runcorn who walked out this week, any attack on our agreements cannot be taken lying down. There is a protest at Fawley this week - another big site in Hampshire where the firms are taking the p**s!

Report From Runcorn
"Hundreds of workers on the Runcorn Thermal Power Station construction site protested and walked out in support of laggers (workers doing insulation work) on site demanding that more local workers are hired by one of the contractors.
Hugh Caffrey – Socialist Party
While construction workers are unemployed in the locality, the company is starting workers from the north-east! This provoked an unofficial walkout on Tuesday 12th June, followed by a demonstration and mass meeting of the whole workforce on the morning of 13th.
Unite union convenor Albie McGuigan, addressing the mass meeting, emphasised that in general the companies on site do adhere to the agreement, but equally that if the laggers call for support then support will be organised.

“Steve Snips”, who works on the site, explains the issues further…
There’s six to seven hundred workers on the site here. The job’s running behind already through problems with the design of the plant. It’s written into the Supplementary Project Agreement (SPA) that they will use local labour wherever practicable.
The majority of the firms are employing the right ratio of local labour to travelling labour, but C&D Insulation are using more travelling labour than they are locals.
There was rumours of a protest on Monday but nothing was confirmed, and when we got to the site yesterday there was a small demonstration on the gate. It was a bit disjointed because all the shop stewards were at the PJC [Project Joint Council, monthly meeting between unions and employers - HC].
The scaffolders decided to walk out first of all, and once they’d gone out the rest of the trades followed in solidarity. Protestors said yesterday that there’d be a formal picket today, and if the lads wanted to go into work yesterday then they could, and it wouldn’t be looked down on. But as some of the lads had walked off they thought it was only fair that we all walked off site.
As always, if one company gets away with it then they’ll all be doing it. This morning has had good support, the coaches that bus the lads into the site have all stopped at the gates, and all the lads have assembled for the mass meeting.

The workforce went into work at 9am with several expressing optimism that C&D will step back into line with the SPA.
Whether an immediate victory or a dispute requiring a programme of protests and walkouts remains to be seen. But this shows once again how construction workers’ fighting spirit is growing and the Socialist Party and National Shop Stewards Network will do our part to back them til they win.

NSSN conference

The National Shop Stewards' Network (NSSN) conference last Saturday was well attended with a good few sparks there. We managed to speak and went down a storm especially Jason from Ratcliffe. NSSN has been really helpful in the last year - big thanks! They have meetings all over the country so check them out on their website. Also consider getting your branch to affiliate and maybe set up your own standing order for £1 a month.

Events this week
The Coryton Refinery workers could be getting the sack this week and need our support. There's a meeting on Monday 18th June at Pitsea Leisure Centre, Basildon ss13 3du at 730pm so please get along if you live nearby.
The regular protest at the Shard, London Bridge is on Wednesday 20th June from 645am.

Unite London Construction Branch
is meeting on Wednesday 20th June in Conway Hall near Holborn tube from 630pm. Including elections of branch officers.

Please note that we still have a few Siteworkers that can be posted to you as well as the new construction pamphlet for £2 (with £1 going to the Rank and File fund).

Blacklisting bosses exposed

We had a brilliant performance by Dave Smith in parliament this week. Dave put the case across really well for blacklisted workers, naming and shaming the individuals responsible. The Scottish Labour members were the only MPs interested in blacklisting - thanks to them we may get somewhere and the scandal of blacklisting may get exposed once and for all. It's certainly in the press now so thanks again to Dave and the Labour MPs involved.

That's all for this week - help the Coryton workers if you can, an injury to one is an injury to all! Solidarity!

For more info please visit... Electricians Against The World: http ://www . jibelectrician . blogspot . com/

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Unite Scottish Rank and File News

News items this week include:
Besna Moments
Meeting - 23rd June
Play by the Rules Campaign
Southern General
National Rank and File meeting - One year on

Besna Moments

Remembering Rank and File at the BBC.

Meeting - 23rd June

There will be a Rank and File meeting on the 23rd June 2012 in John Smith House, Glasgow at 10am.

Play by the Rules Campaign

Unite the Union have, in conjuction with the Combine Committee, embarked on a campaign to force all JIB member companies to adhere to the national agreements. We are constantly getting report of breaches of these agreements and these companies will need to be targeted. These include, Balfour Beatty, T. Clarkes, NG Bailey and Crown House. We have campaign materials to be distributed at sites throughout the country, leaflets, posters and stickers. See attached file.

Southern General

Further meetings have taken place with Brookfield and Mercury. Positive reaction from the companies and an agreement to adhere to national agreements from them and will be enforced on sub contractors as well. All we need now is to get ourselves organised on site. We need Shop Stewards to come forward and hopefully we will have a Unite Convener on site.

National Rank and File Meeting - One Year On

There will be a national rank and file meeting held on 11 August 2012 at Conway Hall, Holborn, London from 2pm to 5pm. There will be a reflection on the year gone by as well as discussion on future direction.

Hope to see you all at the meeting on the 23rd.

Unite Scottish Rank and File

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