Jerry Hicks For General Secretary

Jerry Hicks Campaign Blog

There’s a lot at stake and the chips are down!

Posted by jerryhicks4gs on November 21, 2011

The gloves are well and truly off and the chips are down.
It’s up to us now!

Unite members at Balfour Beatty BBES should have been getting their ballot papers and they must be returned by next Monday November 28th, With a ‘YES’ for strike action.

What’s at stake………………………
1] Hourly rate will be cut from £16.07p to £10.50 for trunking conduit work.

2] Paid £14 an hour for terminating.

3] Paid £12 an hour for wiring.

BBES are saying that if you do not sign the new contract you will be fired with very little chance of redress at an employment tribunal
BBES are holding a gun to our heads this cannot be accepted, its immoral. No other industry would allow this to go on why is it happening in construction?
BBES and the other rogue employers see construction workers as two a penny and easily replaceable.

4] We could be made to work 38 hours of seven days, possibly Saturday and Sunday, without being paid any overtime.

5] Our right to union representation would go.

6] We would lose the right of unfair dismissal on a jib panel from day one of employment.

7] Travel time and fares will go.

8] We could be paid fortnightly.

9] The employer will decide what work we would do, so the rate could change at regular intervals.

10] We may find you have to work for just £10.50 as that’s the only work going on a large site.

Agency sparks will be affected as well and you can bet that if this goes through other firms will adopt BESNA. It’s a horror story all round, and other trades will be targeted next.

If you haven’t got a ballot paper contact your local unite office immediately.

So there are 3 big dates coming up………. November 28th when the BBES strike ballot closes and then get the result.

Then there is November 30th when 2 million public sector workers will be on strike to defend their pensions. We should join them, in a sparks ‘day of protest’ with protests and stoppages at as many sites as we can.

And the big one, December 7th when it should be the first strike day for all sparks at BBES. Rank and file sparks across the country at BBES or not should be having meetings to decide on solidarity action.

Here’s the thing…………When we get the YES VOTE for strike action, if BBES question the ballot with a legal challenge, we have to be ready to ignore that and hit the gates anyway.

Some snippets……………………………

Last week saw excellent protests in the North East, during which, at the Corus site Redcar we had one of our own lifted by the police, but the message got to Radcliffe who immediately stopped work demanding his release…………..And he was, without charge!

Scotland had a demonstration with over 300 sparks making the press and STV. London again stepped up to the plate and in Hull they had a great success when targeting Kelvin Hall Academy, a BBES site, causing rush hour traffic jams. Local TV radio and press were there……….but the cops were caught on the hop! Manchester and Liverpool kept the pressure on the rogue 7.

Last week’s rank and file meetings was a mixed bag, Leeds and Bristol went well but Sheffield and Birmingham didn’t no point beating ourselves up about it ‘some you win some you don’t.

This week…………….

Cardiff: Has its first rank and file meeting Wednesday 23rd 7pm – 9pm Owain Glyndwr pub (in the room upstairs) St Johns Square, Cardiff town centre.

With protests at……………………

Newcastle: Tuesday 21nd Nov 07:30am. Unite offices, John Dobson Street, Newcastle.

London: Wednesday 23rd Nov 06.45, Kings X Station, Platforms 9/10

Middlesbrough: Wednesday 23rd Nov 06.30 Conoco, Seal sands T52 1UH

Manchester: Wednesday 23rd Nov 06.30 Manchester Town Hall, City centre.

*At the Unite Sector Conference in Brighton November 27th we have 3 rank and file delegates*

We need more meetings everywhere. Get in touch and we will help you set up a Rank and File meeting where you are. Email

For regular updates: Photos: You tube clips and videos please visit
Electricians Against The World http ://www . jibelectrician . blogspot . com/

History will be determined by what we do today.


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