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Construction workers continue protests on 1st February
Around 40 sparks were protesting outside Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station on Wednesday 1st February to fight the imposition of the BESNA contract.
They have been out each week for the past couple of months, and usually when they hold a protest are able to stop cars going into the site and cause a lot of disruption on the roads tailing back to the M1.
However, due to this success and the fact that this week's protest was more widely publicised in order to break the media blackout on the dispute, two vans of police were present and stopped the sparks from leafleting the cars.
Nonetheless, there was still a determined mood that they will not be stopped that easily and will continue with the weekly protests until they win.
There will be discussion on tactics to take the struggle forward amongst the sparks on site, with some planning to attend the rank and file meeting this Saturday.
See also: Sparks protests hit Leeds
Electricians continued their protest at the Manchester central library Baileys site, and upped the pressure on the city council, which is the client.
Hundreds of copies of a Unite/R&F open letter to the council, demanding Baileys' removal from the site, were distributed to the public and to all councillors attending the full council meeting later the same day.
The open letter begins: "Work on the £100 million Central Library building site is being done by two companies which should not have been given this work.
"We call on you to take immediate action. We will continue to protest at the site until you act." After explaining Besna and blacklisting, the letter concludes with three demands on the council, to:
- End the operations of NG Baileys and Laing O'Rourke on the site
- Offer, to any site personnel affected by this, their transfer in line with TUPE legal obligations to other companies which are adhering to the Joint Industry Board agreement and are not implicated in blacklisting
- Compile a list of all construction companies working on contract to the council and/or on council-funded projects, and publish this publicly at least one week in advance of the next full council meeting.