Grass Roots Left Motion of Support to Construction Rank and File
[Passed unanimously at GRL NC 31st March 2012]This National Committee meeting of the Grass Roots Left [GRL] sends its warmest congratulations to the Construction ‘Rank and File’ who won the BESNA battle.
We are delighted that this grass roots mobilisation has defeated this first phase of the employers attack and are pleased to note that the electricians are preparing for the second stage of the battle.
In particular we note the very powerful sentiments expressed against the agency employers and that:
“A priority must be given to rooting them [agencies] out of our industry.”
“Agencies are the scourge of the industry, exploiting workers.”
“These agencies pay under the rate, no holiday pay, no sick pay and they fire us at will.”
“Let’s send the message out loud and clear ‘No agencies wanted’ ‘Direct employment only!’”
In that way the struggles of the London cleaners is an allied struggle and an inspiration to the building workers, as they operate in a trade that is also notoriously difficult to organise and requires the most militant of tactics and the sharpest of struggles against the TU bureaucracies, ever anxious to cut a deal with employers which gives them members subs but sells out the rights and conditions of the workers.
These sentiments, of course, apply not only to the sparks and allied trades but also to all trades and to the building labourers in the building sites.
This gives the Sparks, on the back an all too rare industrial victory, a unique opportunity to take up the fight begun by Des Warren and the building worker strikers in 1972.
In that regard the struggle against the Blacklist and the struggle for Justice for the Shrewsbury pickets is inseparable from the struggle to organise the sites today.
It has to involve the sharpest struggle against the trade union bureaucracy in Unite, UCATT, the GMB and others whose practice of imposing convenors in collaboration with the construction companies, as in the Olympics sites, has led to such terrible results.
For this reason we give out full support to Mick Dooley in his struggle against the UCATT bureaucracy and the disgraceful action in expelling his from the union to prevent him winning the General Secretary’s election.
The failure to organise the Olympics sites properly is the sharpest of warnings to us all that the time for a proper rank and file movement covering all the sites trades and labourers is long overdue. Direct employment must be at the heart of that struggle, as it was in 1972.
Grass Roots Left is proud that it and its Chair, Jerry Hicks, was able to assist in building this movement to this point and we look forward to yet closer collaboration between our two rank and file movements in the future.
Passed unanimously at GRL NC 31st March 2012