Paralympics and Remploy closurers: Double standards & hypocrisy [Plus benefit cuts ATOS etc]


Press release: Press release: Press release: Immediate:

Forward by Jerry Hicks Grass Roots Left chair: Please find a press release from my good friend and great socialist Ged Dempsey.

With the Paralympics upon us.....

I agreed with much of Denis McShane MP statement regarding the Government stripping away sickness and disability benefits. He was absolutely spot on.

Now after, the Con Dem coalition government announced callous plans to close 36 of the 54 remaining Remploy sites with compulsory redundancies for 1,752 people.

This decision came just days after the government passed the welfare bill, which is supposed to be to help people in to work?

Instead of a commitment to help the most vulnerable people in society, the government is hell-bent on making life much worse for them.

Remploy provides real jobs for many hundreds of disabled workers, giving them the confidence and dignity to be active and contributing citizens. Closing the factories will cause real hardship and push many to the back of the dole queue despite the hollow and weasel words of DWP Minister, Duncan Smith and his rich cronies in the Tory Cabinet of millionaires.

Now they are threatening the pensions of the Remploy workers.

The vile treatment of Remploy workers has been a disgrace and the politicians should hang their heads in shame.

Successive Governments have attacked these vulnerable workers whittling the plants down over the years - but too many politicians sat on their hands and were silent. Failing to stand up for those with little or no voice!

We also demanded an end to the grubby, incompetent and self interest of the directors/management; and a drive for real commitment to getting more public procurement contracts from Government and local authorities.

All to no avail.
This is at a time, when seriously injured service men and women continue to flood back to the UK from their time in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Only to find these fine establishments shut.

The solidarity and comradeship of Remploy workers has been a lesson and inspiration for all, in standing up and fighting for their basic rights.

However, the Government and Media friends will attempt to airbrush the Dispute from their story.

The next step, should now be for our Remploy Workers to use the Paralympic Games as a further way to build their public profile and focus public attention on their plight, stepping up their just fight and to name and shame those responsible for the decision to deny them employment.

We judge Governments and society by how well it treats its weak & vulnerable.


Ged Dempsey, Printworker, Rotherham; Unite the Union member.


Rank and File action is the 'Jewel in our Crown' [House]]

Rank and File action is the ‘Jewel in our Crown’ [House]

Rank and file hit back!

There have already been loads of activities against ‘The rogue that is Crown House’.
We have had plenty of site protests, in Wales, Leeds, London and Middlesbrough too. Top Marx goes to one and all.

Special thanks to some FTO’s who are getting involved and you know who you are, cheers boys. We are moving forward as ‘Bernard McAuley’ would say.

Strangely though, we still can’t get to bottom of the ‘Sign or be fired letter’. ‘The rogue that is Crown House’ are denying it vehemently, but we say that on this occasion there is no smoke without fire, so let’s keep up the pressure...... No to BESNA Mk 2!

Protests planned this week: All starting at 7am.

Leeds City Centre Laing O’ Rourke site:

Cardiff Royal Infirmary:

London, Lime Burner Lane [a substation 5 minutes from St Pauls, Thames link]

* Please also note: The newly elected ‘Rank and File’ committee will be meeting with the Unite Ass Gen Sec Gail Cartmail on the 3rd September to discuss ‘The rogue that is ‘Crown house’ and other industry business.

Finally, Blacklisting is definitely getting plenty of attention now; Scottish MP Jim Sheridan has been doing the business in parliament, thanks for that big man.

Also on the 24th August the Scots Rank and File had good demo at Balfour’s offices although Balfours denied they are Blacklister’s........... Have you ever heard such pesssssh!

And a new case set to go to tribunal in November, who would that be against??????????

You guessed it ‘Balfour Beatty’! Great stuff.

Finally, please contact us if you know of any more demos happening around the country, unity is strength brothers. Get yourself and your workmates in the union and onto a Crown House protest near you. The other BESNA rats are waiting in the wings.

 Unite and fight: Your industry needs you!

For more info please visit..... Electricians Against The World

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     Trevor Dickenson a very special person:

A sad loss and will be sorely missed.

I am very sorry to have to report the sad loss of Trevor Dickenson.

He passed away aged 51 on Friday 3rd August at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, with the funeral service having been held at Telford Crematorium on Tuesday 21 August.

Trevor [Trev to his friends] had fought bravely against the effects of serious kidney problems over the past eight years.

Despite his illness Trevor was an enthusiastic trade unionist.

He was a regular attendee at Unite Telford branch meetings, he was the branch treasurer and a delegate to Shropshire and Telford Trades Council.

He threw himself ‘body and soul’ into the Unite General Secretary election campaign for Jerry Hicks in 2010, and in recent years, the fight against public spending cuts.

He was also an active campaigner for disability rights.

Trevor was a very special person indeed. He was always willing to go out of his way to help people in whatever way he could. This earned him the respect and friendship of all those he met.

He will be sorely missed.

Jerry Hicks: Grass Roots Left Chair:


Construction Rank & File latest 'Crown House need to be De-throned

We’ve buried BESNA once and we must do it again.

Crown House need to be De-throned.

Last year saw a titanic struggle when we defeated the BESNA 8. But one of the rats Crown House has emerged from underneath their stone. As we write Crown House has issued ‘sign by September 7th or be sacked’ notices.

Crown House have pulled out of the JIB and are trying to bring in BESNA Mk 2.  Though for now they are still paying the same rate as JIB, they are hiding behind a smoke screen.

The fact that they are no longer in JIB means workers lose a number of benefits including:

: Proper holiday pay: JIB pension: Agreed overtime rates: Travel & fares: Bupa : 

Along with all this it will mean that there will be no rights of unfair dismissal claims under JIB disciplinary rules, so you need to have worked for them for more than 2 years to claim unfair dismissal, when under JIB rules you get that from day one.

Crown House will also try it on and say thye don’t recognise Unite. That’s codswallop every person is entitled to join a union of their choice and be represented at disciplinary and grievance hearings always remember that don’t go into any hearing without a union rep.

To defend ourselves against them we must attack!
We are planning demos at all Crown House sites in the coming weeks, they have a lot of work in London as well as other areas so let’s get geared up to do what we do best, fight back!

We did the business last year and the time has come to do it again. If Crown House get away with this all the rats will all be at it.

Get organised, walkout if you are on a Crown House site, spread the word, solidarity action across the country and bring every site to a standstill. No return to work until we are happy and’ no sell outs’.

Crown House [CH] are owned by Laing O’Rourke both are big Blacklister’s and no friends of construction workers We must also fight blacklisting, many of our best activists find themselves being barred from sites because they are the best organisers against the bosses. One of our demands should be ‘employment of direct labour’. The Blacklisting wretches have cost us our livelihoods for years, enough is enough. Look out for a protest near you in the coming weeks.

Report of last weeks ‘National Rank and File meeting’:-

More than 7o ‘Rank and File’ activists from ‘Scotland’ ‘Wales’ ‘Liverpool’ ‘Manchester’ ‘Nottingham’ ‘Leeds’ ‘Portsmouth’ and london, attended last Saturday’s meeting in Conway Hall. 

Item [1] on the agenda was to elect a National Rank and File committee for the coming year.

Item [2] was a financial report [details available on request].

Item [3] Report of the  combine meeting in Sheffield 23/24th July [Next meeting in September].

Item [4] Crown House/BESNA Mk 2.  After much discussion on this it was agreed to start demonstrations on Crown House sites, initially in London St Pancras 17th August. This would be rolled out across the regions ASAP wherever Crown House had sites and possibly a leverage campaign to be started also with Unite. Agreed to approach Gail Cartmail Unite AGS. Unite have said they would be campaigning against Crown House and will provide leaflets, banners, placards, and officer support where possible. Notwithstanding Unites campaign, it was agreed that the ‘Rank and File’ should take the initiative as we did in last BESNA dispute.

Item [5] ‘Blacklisting’ An update on the High Court claim by Guney Clarke Ryan was given followed by a discussion. It was still going on and many activists were being kept off large sites preventing any organisation. It was felt Unite should be doing much more to help our blacklisted activists, but it may well require walkouts by workers to defend our people and ensure they are given work. Gail Cartamail will be approached to try and arrange meeting with the Rank and file committee ASAP to discuss blacklisting and other industry issues as we were not really moving forward quickly enough, especially on rule 17 and pay talks. Blacklisting is a major sticking point for us all.

Item [6] ‘Play by the rules’ a Unite campaign any issues contact local officers.

Item [7] ‘Siteworker’ We were planning a new one soon, if anyone wishes to write an article they should contact It was decided that we would try and increase the circulation more and distribute to as many sites as possible.

Speakers: The meeting heard from a guest speaker about possible power station work coming up and a speaker from the ‘Grass Roots Left’ also addressed the meeting

Demonstrations: 24th august Scottish Rank and file are demonstrating at Balfours Head office Glasgow 11am over blacklisting please support.

A room collection was held at the end of the meeting to help cover hire and other costs, meeting closed at 430pm. It was agreed to have next meeting in Scotland before Christmas.

Union hits out at blacklists and bullying

By Tony Patey, Morning Star Industrial Reporter: 17th August 2012

Bully-boy tactics by bosses were in the spotlight today as sparks took to the streets of London against wage cuts and GMB threatened legal action over blacklisting.

About 50 construction electricians and other activists demonstrated outside a building site near St Pancras station, targeting Crown House, who they accuse of making "back door" moves.

Earlier this year rank-and-file protests and pressure won a major trade union victory in a bitter seven-month row over the scrapping of long-standing national pay agreements.

Seven companies, including Crown House, wanted to jettison the long-standing Joint Industry Board (JIB) agreement in favour of a new Building Engineering Services National Agreement (Besna).

They say the firm is now trying to change electricians' contracts and pay rates unilaterally, despite industry-wide negotiations taking place aimed at securing a single, national agreement to replace the JIB.

Activists said they beat Besna and now they'll beat what they're calling Besna2. Protests are planned every Friday at Crown House sites.

Meanwhile, GMB is threatening legal action unless the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) informs 2,863 builders their names are still on a blacklist the office has had since 2009.

In a letter to the ICO the union also wants them to take action against the 44 companies that blacklisted the builders.

It follows a similar letter from Liberty a few weeks ago and both Liberty and GMB are criticising the ICO for refusing to act for the past three years.

In 2009, the ICO seized a database used by companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists. Ends:

Finally, If you have any protests planned or want to advertise Branch meetings etc let us know it’s the site for all of us and a great source if information.

For more info please visit..... Electricians Against The World http ://www . jibelectrician . blogspot . com/

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keep on keeping on!