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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 November 2011

Electricians occupy building company HQ

Rob Williams, National Shop Stewards Network chair

Construction electricians brought their campaign of defiance to the home of one of the 'Dirty Seven' contractors in London on 23 November. Over 150 sparks marched from their morning protest at Kings Cross to the headquarters of Gratte Brothers and occupied the foyer of the office for over an hour.

Grattes is one of the companies looking to withdraw from the Joint Industry Board (JIB) national agreement with Unite which will lead to de-skilling. This will cut many electricians' wages by up to 35% by lowering rates to 10 an hour on the new BESNA contracts. This came a day after it was revealed that top executives in Britain have seen their income rise by an incredible 49%.

Grattes is the company whose Cannon Street site manager infamously told one of the sparks a few weeks ago: "If it was up to me, I'd pay them 1 an hour"! Angry electricians shouted at managers telling them to explain why they are slashing their wages but they just stood silent on the stairs. In fact one of them asked: "What is the JIB?"!

This is the latest protest in an incredible campaign of rank-and-file construction workers that is now into its fourth month. Over the last few weeks it has escalated into stoppages at sites in London and nationally, including at the West Burton and Ratcliffe power stations in the East Midlands and at Corus on Teesside.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 30 November 2011:


Socialist Party news and analysis

30 November shows... We can win!

Con-Dems' autumn statement: 'pain now, pain tomorrow and more pain for longer'

Fight this bosses' charter!

Who cares about home care?

The Tory solution to pensioner poverty?

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Eurozone: Into the abyss?

Egypt: Millions cast their votes in the first post-Mubarak elections

Kazakhstan: Demand Georgii Epshtein's release!


Socialist Party feature

Jarrow March for Jobs 2011


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Brighton Greens fail to fight the cuts

A message from Tommy Sheridan

'Not guilty' - support for Cardiff activists

Stoke Socialist Party's public meeting success

Leeds Against Cuts: defiant mood to fight 'daylight robbery'

Showing racism the red card

London trade unionists support electoral opposition to cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

Construction workers defend the JIB

Electricians occupy building company HQ

Usdaw: Fighting against the policies of 'social partnership'

Workplace inbrief


The Socialist, reviews & comments

When bankers were good?

Why I joined the Socialist Party


 

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Related links:

Electricians:

triangleElectricians pay victory

triangleWoolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

triangleSupport the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

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