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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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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:

triangleWoolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

triangleSupport the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangleCrossrail action in defence of victimised union rep

triangleLondon Crossrail workers walk out

triangleCrossrail sparks get organised

London:

triangleEarth strike day in London

triangleSouth West London Socialist Party: Socialist change to end climate change

triangleWest Papuans demand self-determination in London

triangleUnions must fight to make bus drivers and passengers safe

Construction:

triangleSocialist Party member Janet Gibson advertising NSSN conference at a protest of steel construction workers outside a Siemans factory in Lincoln (click for report)

triangleTen years since Lindsey strike: when militant action stopped the 'race to the bottom'

triangleTories ensured Carillion meltdown went unchecked

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