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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 March 2012

Construction workers fight on

Rob Williams
'All power to the Sparks' - Electrician construction workers: protest at Cannon Street, London , photo Paul Mattsson

'All power to the Sparks' - Electrician construction workers: protest at Cannon Street, London , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Over 40 construction workers protested on 14 March outside the Shard site at London Bridge. These workers were fresh from the victory over the 'Dirty Seven' construction companies who had tried to impose the Besna contract, which would have deskilled the industry and cut wages by 35%. They were now taking on the construction bosses over their use of agency working in the construction industry.

The Shard site is run by Mace who, like all the other employers, use agencies to allow them to pay lower wages than the national agreement, JIB. They use this strategy to attack the terms and conditions which have been agreed with the unions.

Loads of Shard workers took leaflets onto the site. They explained that Mace is a profitable multinational company but is forcing the workers to take pay rates significantly lower than the national agreement. Workers are working overtime without overtime payment and are being denied other nationally agreed payments.

It's clear that, after their marathon six-month campaign to defeat the Besna, the confidence of construction workers has been raised. They now want to take on the other burning issues in the industry like agency working and blacklisting.

These protests will continue and they will act as a check on their union Unite and the officials when they enter into the negotiations with the construction companies. The companies want to force concessions out of the union to worsen the JIB but these electricians, pipefitters and plumbers are determined not to offer any concessions and to improve the JIB.


National Shop Stewards Network

6th annual conference

Saturday 9 June 11am - 4pm

Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ

Speakers include:

For more information see: www.shopstewards.net
Contact the NSSN at: info@shopstewards.net or PO Box 54498, London, E10 9DE

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 15 March 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Resist Cameron's cold cruelty

Fight the cuts - for a workers' alternative

Fight back against attacks on pensions

Those fracking Tories

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Construction workers fight on

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Widespread fraud alleged as Putin wins presidential poll

Kazakhstan: Oilworkers' lawyer freed from prison


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

National demo needed to save our NHS

Liberals' 'democratic' conference

Fighting Con-Dem attacks on education

14 March - Socialist Students get a response

Housing crisis in London

Library cash goes to supermarket bosses

Coventry: Fight for a socialist alternative

May Day greetings


Socialist Party congress

Socialist Party Congress 10-12 March 2012

World developments show - capitalism is crisis

Trade unions and workplaces

Britain: working class begins to 'rise like lions'

Building the Socialist Party: 'year of the branch'

Young, socialist and proud to be!


Reviews & readers' comments

'Westenders' - omnibus edition

The best of 'literary fiction'


 

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Related links:

Construction workers:

triangleHull construction workers force bosses to shut down site over health and safety fears

triangleHull: Construction workers' walkout forces employer to back down

triangleHull construction workers strike against blacklisting

triangleSocialist Party member Janet Gibson advertising NSSN conference at a protest of steel construction workers outside a Siemans factory in Lincoln (click for report)

Union:

triangleLobbying for a lead from the TUC

triangleTUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians

triangleA critical election for Unison general secretary

triangleReinstate Richie Venton

London:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Covid - A young workers' charter

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The Marikana massacre in South Africa

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Marxism and Philosophy

JIB:

triangleLondon Crossrail workers walk out

triangleWorkers' Memorial Day: strike for safety

Electricians:

triangleElectricians pay victory

Blacklisting:

triangleTrade union conference to force secret police disclosure

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