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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