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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 April 2014

Sparks fight on!

On 4 April, 30 agency construction workers downed tools at a NG Bailey job at Three Bridges in Sussex.

They demanded to be employed directly for the duration of the job. They won this battle and they are now 'on the cards' with full construction industry/trade union agreed JIB terms and conditions.

This followed the change in rules about self-employment which came into action on 6 April. Some construction firms have been trying to circumvent the new regulations by forcing workers into 'umbrella payment companies'.

This would allow the bosses to cut holiday pay and shift employer and employee national insurance contributions onto the worker.

Unite is providing help and advice to workers affected by this and workers have been taking direct action to stop the bosses in their tracks.

37 agency electricians walked off a job at AWE Aldermaston on 2 April. It is a Shepherds Engineering Services job and the workers are demanding to be taken on directly by Shepherds.

Under the pressure of the walkout, Shepherds agreed to a meeting which a Unite construction officer attended.

Being told that they will have to pay Employers NI and their own holiday has outraged thousands of Agency workers across the whole UK and further action is likely. More than 200,000 construction workers could be affected.

On 8 April it appears that electricians on the Tottenham Court Road site walked out over the same issue.

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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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In The Socialist 9 April 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

House of Thieves

Housing emergency

Break with pro-cuts Labour now

System change to save the environment

Hillsborough tragedy - the final chapter?

OECD report: A system in crisis

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Care UK strike: national union support needed

Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) elections

Build on the fighting militant traditions of the RMT

Probation workers unite to fight off no-justice vultures

Visteon: Ford makes offer

Sparks fight on!

Homes and Communities Agency strike


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Swansea: National Front thwarted!

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition progress update

Doncaster: March commemorates miners' strike

Save Leicester Race Equality Centre

Obituary: Pat James 1930 - 2014

Help with the Socialist sales campaign

Support the Socialist with a May Day greeting


Reviews and readers' comments

Book review: Silent Accomplice

Reviews and comments


 

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triangleElectricians pay victory

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Construction workers:

triangleHull: Construction workers' walkout forces employer to back down

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