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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2011

Construction workers fight pay cuts

The pressure is growing on the 'Big 7' construction companies who want to withdraw from the Joint Industry Board agreement and impose the new BESNA contracts which will cut workers' pay by up to 35%.

Unite are balloting electricians in Balfour Beatty (BBES) because they've given 1,600 electricians notice that they will put them on the BESNA contract from 7 December. All BBES workers should vote yes to strike on that day.

Electricians all over the country are fighting back. In Glasgow, "skilled jobs for skilled workers" was the chant as over 300 construction electricians and supporters marched from the Unite offices to George Square on 19 November.

Ian Leech brought solidarity greetings from the 11,500 members of Glasgow city Unison. "Our fight is the same as yours. We're fighting to defend decent pay, pensions and working conditions from millionaires who think we should pay the price for an economic crisis created by the rich."

Over 100 electricians and supporters gathered at Farringdon station in London on 16 November. A number of electricians had refused to go into work, including a group of Polish workers. They were given a huge cheer when this was announced on the microphone.

Rob Williams, chair of the National Shop Stewards Network, pointed to the walkouts in Ratcliffe and Corus as showing the way forward. He also urged electricians to join up with the public sector action on 30 November.

Paul Callanan from Youth Fight for Jobs said that kettling was used against sparks' attempts to join the student protest on 9 November because the bosses feared workers joining up with young people in opposition to cuts.

Around 30 electricians demonstrated outside one of SPIE Matthew Hall's sites in Liverpool. The electricians on this site were adamant that the employers must not be allowed to get away with their plans to de-skill and cut the rate for the job and were fully behind the official action being called for 7 December.

On 16 November, around 300 workers protested outside Corus Steel in Redcar.

On the same day all 1,000 contractors at West Burton power station in North Notts struck. GMB pickets spoke to Jon Dale.

"There's no recession in this industry. In fact, there's a massive amount of work, mostly on power stations. Half the power stations need replacing.

"The private owners have also stopped training, so there's a shortage of skilled workers, who are getting older. They did away with apprentices for a long time. They used to pinch skilled workers from steel, mining, railways and other industries, but these sources have dried up. They've tried to bring in foreign workers but that's also caused them problems.

"We've no problem with foreign workers so long as they get the same pay as us."

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In The Socialist 23 November 2011:

Pensions' strike, N30

Enough is enough! Make N30 the start of a fight to stop all cuts

Reasons to be on strike

Socialist Party feature

Capitalism is crisis - there is an alternative - fight for socialism!

Socialist Party news and analysis

Con-Dems worsen the housing crisis

Massive job cuts undermining NHS

Millions unemployed - workers and students must unite and fight!

Them & Us

The Socialist - Readers' comments

Tragic effect of recession

Why I became a socialist

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Jarrow marchers put forward an alternative

No answers from politicians on Newsnight

Save Coventry Sure Start

Update: Occupy

Support the anti-cuts election challenge

State intimidation of young protesters

Tories and Labour fail to give 'Any Answers'

Women: sick of sexism, discrimination and cuts?

Mansfield - build houses, create jobs

Pensions protest in Maude's constituency

International socialist news and analysis

Why Europe's capitalist leaders cannot save the floundering eurozone project

Ruling PSOE battered in Spanish general election

Syria: Eight months of mass protests met with bloody brutality

Egyptian masses fight for real change

Socialist Party workplace news

Greece and Italy get unelected technocrats - Southampton gets chief executives!

Construction workers fight pay cuts

Fire service cuts

Bus drivers strike over pay

Workplace In brief


Obituary - Geoff Atkins


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