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Construction workers determined to protect pay, terms and conditions
For the third week running a London construction site was besieged by hundreds of electricians protesting at the 'Big 8' construction companies' plans to withdraw from the national JIB agreement next March, which will force the wages of many of these workers down by 35%.
The protests are spreading with action reported in Manchester and Newcastle today and a meeting is being organised in Scotland.
Many of the workers at the Shard site at London Bridge today were listening to the speakers and taking leaflets from the Siteworker rank and file construction worker group onto the site (email address firstname.lastname@example.org).
The protests are becoming a useful vehicle to spread the word about the bosses' plans and the campaign that is needed and is being built to stop them.
But it's clear that only strike action is going to be able to force the employers back. A Unite officer was at the protest today but the union urgently has to move to seriously start to organise for a national strike ballot.
The union says that the cuts to terms and conditions will happen in March but there's talk about some workers getting 90 day notices to change contarcts soon.
The forces for national action are being built by rank and file activists. A national meeting of electricians under the official banner of the union would be a big step forward in the campaign and would send a clear message to the employers that the battle's on.
It would also be a forum to ensure that all stewards on sites are elected and accountable to construction workers.
NSSN lobby and rally
Mick Dooley - general secretary candidate for the union Ucatt - who has been present at all the London protests will be speaking at the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) rally on Sunday 11th September at Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London (rally starts at 1.30pm).
The next London protest will be on Wednesday 14 September, at 6:30am at the Pudding Mill Lane Olympics site.
The next Manchester protest will be on Wednesday 14 September, 6.30 -10am, at Balfour's site at the new paper mill in Carrington, Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=211774525550679
TUC fringe meeting
13th September 2011 - 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Room 2B, University of London Union (ULU), Malet Street, London
- Blacklist Support Group - representing workers blacklisted by multinational building firms for their trade union activities
- UNITE Construction rank & file - electricians' campaign against the 35% pay cut proposed by major employers
- Justice for Shrewsbury Pickets - campaign for judicial review into the imprisonment of Des Warren and Ricky Tomlinson in 1973
Film: BLACKLISTED - by Reel News