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Posted on 16 January 2012 at 16:50 GMT

Appeal from protesting electricians and construction workers

The Socialist Party received this message from Alan Keays, Joint Sites Committee


Dear comrades,

Our dispute has reached a critical stage. The BESNA 7 [the seven firms who are trying to tear up national agreements on pay and terms of employment] have upped the ante by threatening to sack workers in the coming weeks if they do not sign these new contracts.

Wages will be cut by 35%. They intend to introduce a new grade, an installer, who will do 75% of the work normally done by skilled electricians, completely destroying our trade and exploiting the workers.

Most of us will end up out of work, or forced to work for less money doing the work we have always done - but for 6 an hour less!

Apprentices will be non-existent. These firms have been bullying workers to sign these inferior contracts since before Xmas, holding a gun to workers' heads.

The carrot being dangled: "if you don't sign, you are throwing away five years work or more."

The Crossrail project is the perfect example. NG Bailey has this contract. They are one of the rogue 7 firms which have pulled out of the national agreement.

Balfour Beatty also have stacks of work all over the country. Unite the union are re balloting Balfour Beatty and the result should be known by 2nd February.

We are confident of a massive Yes vote, bigger than the last vote. In the meantime the rank and file are continuing with their weekly protests.

We have a number of meetings planned and if all goes to plan we will need transport to get around and picket all Balfour Beatty sites.

Please pass this information on.

Please make donations to the Unite Rank and File Construction Workers Fighting Fund

Cheques payable to Joint Sites Committee

70 Darnay Rise

Chelmsford

Essex

CM1 4XA

Many thanks

In solidarity

Alan Keays

Joint Sites Committee

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