Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/566/6883
Welcome to the JIB!
Steve Acheson, blacklisted electrician, and a member of Unite, distributed this leaflet at the construction engineering shop stewards' meeting on 9 February. He wanted to show what happens if union-negotiated agreements are undermined.
Welcome to the JIB [Joint Industry Board for electrical contracting].
Where the only chance of employment is through an employment agency, because companies refuse to advertise available jobs. Where the unskilled outnumber the skilled, where the main contractor sub-contracts work to maybe 10-15 agencies, like Balfour at the Manchester Royal Infirmary site.
Where you will most likely be on a bogus tax scheme through a satellite office of that agency. An industry where the second tier payment is non-existent, because a multi-million pound hospital is deemed no different from a two-bedroom terrace house. An industry where a union poll reveals 42+ unskilled operatives being utilised to carry out skilled work (Whiston Hospital), and where on the same site the company selects the shop representative.
Supervisors can be holiday [tour company] reps, debt collectors, window cleaners, etc. Imagine no site meeting (Terminal 5), no holiday pay for any workers not on PAYE. Where travel expenses are worse than 20 years ago.
An industry where victimisation through blacklisting against union reps is rife. Where wholesale mass sackings of workforces takes place - 200 at Norwich hospital and 240 at Pfizers.
Imagine if the above scenario becomes the norm throughout the construction industry. For the past eight weeks I have been outside the gates of Fiddler's Ferry power station demanding reinstatement, since my unfair selection for false redundancy by Alstom as they tear up the Blue Book agreement.
The above scenario is one we cannot accept, the employers seek not only the end of the Blue Book agreement, but the ultimate in smashing the unions. We must respond accordingly, we must FIGHT!
In The Socialist 11 February 2009:
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review