On Saturday 26th May, there was a National Rank & File meeting held in Liverpool. This meeting was attended by RnF groups from across the UK. One of the main points discussed at this meeting was the ongoing suspension of a Unite Safety Rep for SPIE at Ratcliffe Power Station.
Coincidentally, this particular Safety Rep was a major force in galvanising and organising the workers on SPIE sites across the country against the attack on the M&E industry (BESNA). Several weeks ago it was announced that he had been suspended on trumped up charges of bullying. There was no evidence at all, it was just the companies way of trying to get a bit of revenge for the loss of face they received in being DEFEATED by their workers.
We arrived nice and early at Ratcliffe Power Station with plenty of caffeine in the system after the journey up from London. There was RnF there from North West, London, North East, Wales, Midlands and Scotland. Also all the SPIE workers who had walked off the job in support of their Safety Rep were outside the gate too.
We leafleted all morning, explaining to the long queues of cars why we were there and asking them to turn around and not go in today in support. Many cars did turn around before they got to the gate.
We then heard from inside the site that companies were having shop meetings to decide what they were going to do.
All of the SPIE workers stayed out. The GMB Union had a site meeting first thing and they voted to walk off site. Capes (Scaffolders) walked off also. There were two other companies but I forgot to write their names down.
The biggest walkout came at morning break Doosan Babcocks had a meeting and the voted unanimously to walk out in support, all 379 of them.
Altogether, the number of people who walked off of Racliffe Power Station came to approximately 800. An unbelievable show of solidarity from all trades across one site.
News has reached us today that the victimised safety rep has today had ALL disciplinary charges dropped and is to be reinstated as of Wednesday.
Once again another VICTORY for the Rank and File