On Thursday the Crossrail Protest arrived at a site in Kent.
Taken from the South East Construction Newsletter
"15 Unite members who are CIS/self/employed are working on prefabricated tunnel segments at Chatham Docks, Kent for DSJV. The trades range from Steel Fixers, Carpenters, Fitters, Machine Drivers, Concrete Finishers and General operatives. The rate of pay varies from £16p/h to £9.50p/h.
These workers were engaged by TG Tunnelling Ltd. Tensions arose when Cheema Group, which is a labour agency, told the guys that the rate is going to be £7p/h from now on, take it of leave it. Cheema have been awarded the contract after talks with Crossrail.
Has a dodgy deal been done? This is not self employment. Its not right and its no proper.
The times are set by the contractors for 12hr days, half hour lunch break, 5 shifts full on and there was a promise of a run of work lasting at least THREE years. These construction workers fully support Unites Campaign for direct employment as this demonstrates how casualised and disgraceful hard working people are being treated in this industry. Safety will be compromised. These guys have no issue with TG Tunneling who have supported their membership to the Union. Local Labour should remain on the job, no excuses! These blokes set up the job up and want to stay making the segments
" I think it's an insult for skilled men to build this project and have the rate slashed in this way" -
Quote from one of the Unite members affected
HEALTH and safety concerns have once again been highlighted on the Crossrail project after an ”accident” at the Westbourne Park site earlier today.
According to unconfirmed reports, a conveyor at the site was taking rubble out of the tunnel when a gantry collapsed.
The site in question has been the scene for mass protests by rank and file union members following the dismissal of 28 workers by contractor Bam Ferrovial Kier (BFK).
Activists claim that 2 union representatives raised safety concerns over unsafe cabling and blacklisting on the site, only to have their contractor – EIS and all 28 workers removed from the job.
A spokesman for Crossrail confirmed that no one was injured and that the “incident” would be investigated fully.
“During the transportation of excavated material from the tunnels to the freight trains, the hopper, which feeds excavated material into wagons at Westbourne Park, tilted into an individual wagon,” he said.
“No injuries resulted. Network Rail closed the adjacent track to our site as a precaution to enable further investigations to be undertaken. As is standard procedure, the Health and Safety Executive was advised.”
However Blacklist Support Group secretary Dave Smith expressed concern, telling the Dreadnaught: ”Do workers need to die on Crossrail before BFK consortium stop blacklisting safety reps and start talking to trade unions?”
Noting a high level of public funding for the project, Mr Smith added: “Public funds deserve the highest standards not Dickensian anti-union mill owner attitudes.”
Taken from the Daily Dreadnaught