Jerry Hicks For General Secretary

Jerry Hicks Campaign Blog

When the employers go on the attack you can’t always wait for a ballot.

Posted by jerryhicks4gs on August 26, 2011

When the employers go on the attack you can’t always wait for a ballot.

I joined 200 rank and file, grass roots electricians protesting outside Blackfriars station in London on Wednesday 31st August.

It’s a shame though that there were no Unite officials stood alongside us.

On Wednesday 24th August 200 electricians protested outside Balfour Beatty’s Blackfriars Station construction project in the first of many.

Alan Keys said “What a great turn out and this is just the beginning now let’s push on. We can win this battle and turn over the 8 firms who have threatened to pull out of JIB agreement we’ve done before and we can do it again. The last time the electrical contractors attempted to cut wages by de-skilling the electrical trade was 1999 which led to coordinated strikes on the Jubilee Line, Royal Opera House, Pfizers and projects across the UK.

The disputes sparked off because 8 major electrical contractors announced withdraw from the Joint Industry Board (JIB). They are Bailey Building Services, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, Tommy Clarke, Crown House Technologies, Gratte Brothers, MJN Colston, SES and SPIE Matthew Hall.

Taking the piss or what, last year the chief executive of Balfour’s gave himself an 8% pay rise yet for us they propose 3 new grades for electricians: metalworker £10.50 per hour, Wiring £12, Terminating £14. The current electricians JIB rate is £16.25p per hour across the board. For the worst hit it’s a 35% pay cut coupled with major changes to other terms and conditions.

There is a lot of anger and electricians won’t stand for it, these rank and file, grass roots protests will only get bigger and we will be protesting at major sites across the country until the employers change their minds.

This was only the start of the campaign:

The next protest is ‘Wednesday 31st August at 6.30am at the Westfield site in Stratford’ where T Clarke is one of the main electrical contractors.

There are also demos being planned for every Wednesday in the North West.

Please turn up at Westfield in large numbers tell your workmates the fight will be tough together united we will win.

For more info: Alan Keys siteworkers@virginmedia.com

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