An amazing few days in the BESNA dispute

Who’s streets? Our Streets!  

The fun began last Wednesday [15th] at the ECA dinner and dance, Grosvenor Hotel Park Lane. 150 construction workers gathered for 5.30pm and decided we would have our own ‘party in the Street’. MC Sean Prophet provided the great party music outside the hotel, and it wasn’t long before Park Lane was blocked off and rocking!

Traffic soon backed up as the dancing got in to full swing to top tunes like ‘the Irish Rover’.  It was an hour before PC plod finally arrived as ‘they were stuck in traffic’! and had to come on foot!

However, after a vote we decide to give them one lane back.

They were nicking the food from our tables and we were going to let them know we weren’t happy. As the ‘dinner suited brigade’ arrived they were treated to a right barracking, chasing them all round the hotel as they scurried in side doors, to enjoy their champers and fine grub. Red Ken Livingstone was also collard as he went in to gorge himself (shame on you).

The following day [16th] we were overjoyed to hear that the High Court had finally got round to making a decision and better still had ruled in our favour.

Balfour Beatty had lost the injunction and the strike could go ahead.

By Friday 17th we heard that Balfour Beatty had withdrawn from BESNA what a result! One of the biggest construction companies in the world had crumbled and we believe it won’t be long before the others pull out as well.

Superb, our struggle had paid off, the ‘Rank and File’ were truly on the march.

Our sister unions in USA and Australia have helped enormously with demos in solidarity. We are maintaining protests for now and hope to take out no good NG Baileys next, ‘a major Blacklister’.

A campaign is being mounted with the backing of Unite, where we protest at Morrison supermarkets countrywide. NGB Have a maintenance contract with Morrison’s as well as refurbishments and new stores being built. The word on the street is SPIE are ready to pull back soon all our hard work is paying off.

When all BENSA 7 have retreated we need to push on and go for the jugular by renegotiating a brand new deal for sparks, and mechanical trades.

We need a list of demands and here’s a few suggestions, also ‘Rank and File reps’ must be part of the negotiating committee.

1) Rule 17 must be adhered to: No agency labour until a job is nearly complete, and then only small numbers, and ‘no redundancies’ while agency labour are on any site.

2) An increase in the hourly rate.

3) No deskilling.

4) Proper apprenticeships.

5) No more ‘Blacklisting or Victimisation’ of those involved in dispute so far.

6) Increase in fares, travel time and lodging allowance.

7) A sick pay scheme.

8) A single hourly rate across the board.

9) Fares from home for all.

10) A 35 hour basic week. Overtime rates increased.

11) Full training for elected stewards and safety reps with paid time off for union duties.

12) Elected reps on all projects.

13) A decent redundancy pay.

14) A decent pension scheme.

15) Full employment rights from day one.

We need more reps and lay activists on JIB committees with democracy restored to our unions. Union officers should be elected by us the members with the right of recall, not appointed by the Union, and they paid the same as us i.e. no more than a skilled worker. That way they would be more accountable to the members.

Any new deal must be put to membership for agreement and then a ballot to vote on acceptance or rejection. With patient organised work this can be achieved.

All in all a momentous week for the power of ‘Rank and File’ let’s not let this opportunity pass us by. We can transform the construction industry.

But while there is even a ‘Rogue 1’ let alone 6 still to push over the edge we are continuing to protest and NG Bailey are in our sites............ London Wednesday 22nd Feb 7am Kings Cross Platform9/10 cross rail site.

For more info please visit..... Electricians Against The World http ://www . jibelectrician . blogspot . com/
Get in touch with us by Email

Together united the workers will never be defeated.

Not a light bulb shall shine nor a wheel can turn without our permission.

A massive round of applause to one and all our time has come.
Not bad for a mindless bunch of individuals and a cancerous group, eh Bernard!
*And by the way Bernard we are still waiting for a public apology*.

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