Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

Posted on 15 November 2012 at 14:52 GMT

Oxford Street protest against victimisation and blacklisting in the construction industry, 14.11.12

Oxford Street protest against victimisation and blacklisting in the construction industry, 14.11.12   (Click to enlarge)

Oxford Street protest against construction blacklisting

As millions of workers took general strike action across big parts of Europe, there was an impressive protest outside the Oxford Sreet entrance to the Crossrail Tottenham Court Road site.

Sacked Unite shop steward Frank Morris was joined by Sparks and supporters from London, the North West, Wales, Yorkshire, Midlands and Scotland who stopped rush-hour traffic for a while before voting to continue the protest on the pavement when police read the 'riot act' (section 14).

Supporters are encouraged to continue to give support to Frank on his daily protests outside Westbourne Park Crossrail site, 7am - 12noon Monday to Friday.

The following is a statement of support by the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN):

Stop the union busting on Crossrail!

Reinstate the Crossrail 28!

Two months ago today, 28 construction electricians working for EIS were sacked on the Crossrail site at Westbourne Park in West London.

This was done by the consortium of contractors BFK-Bam, Ferrovial and Kier. BFK have tried to argue that this decision was because of a reduction in work but we believe that it is a blatant act of trade union victimisation and blacklisting.

If it's not, BFK could today give a commitment that these workers would be first in the queue if and when more electricians are needed on the job as stated in national agreements between the unions and the construction companies.

The project will take up to six years to complete - plenty of time for these workers to be re-engaged!

Two of the sacked workers were Unite trade union reps - one a shop steward, the other a health and safety steward.

In the weeks before the sackings, the safety rep was suspended while the shop steward, Frank Morris, was ordered to work on his own, isolated from the rest of the workforce.

Frank was victimised on the Olympic site in Stratford last year and is clearly now on a blacklist.

Crossrail is a massive infrastructure project that is estimated to cost £15.9 billion. One way or another, most of this will come from taxpayers and passengers - that is, you and me! Yet companies getting rich on a publicly financed project can get away with victimisation and blacklisting, which are totally illegal.

The government's own regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office revealed a conspiracy by 40 of the UK's biggest construction companies (including Bam and Kier) to illegally deliberately deny more than 3,000 construction workers their legal right to secure work.

It's now been revealed that this could be the tip of the iceberg and many more in other sectors could also have suffered.

Financial claims are set to be made against these corporations which could total £millions but these illegal human rights abuses continue.

Earlier this year, the 'Sparks' - construction electricians - defeated the bosses' attempts to drive through a new BESNA contract which would have cut wages by up to 35%.

This was done through a six month marathon campaign of protests, unofficial walkouts and a threatened official strike in Balfour Beatty.

However, since then the employers have been out for revenge to try and reassert themselves against construction workers.

Unite reps in Ratcliffe power station and Grangemouth Oil Refinery were both facing the sack until action by their fellow workers forced their reinstatement. In Ratcliffe, 1,600 walked out.

The Crossrail sackings are part of this strategy but as with the BESNA, Ratcliffe and Grangemouth, this can be beaten.

The employers understand that a strong union organisation forces them to pay the agreed rate for the job and is the most effective way to ensure workers have the best health and safety protection.

While this is vital for workers, to the bosses it eats into their profits. That's why construction workers, whether they be on Crossrail or elsewhere have to continue the fight to reinstate the sacked Crossrail workers.

Alongside the daily and weekly protests in London and around the country, we have to get everyone on the sites into the union: Unite join form

Unite should grasp the opportunity that is Frank's two month campaign which is building the union's profile.

Union organisers should be attached to the protests to sign up members and organise the sites. With increased union strength comes the power to insist that management comply with agreements, including reinstating the Crossrail 28.

The campaign goes on! Solidarity with the sacked Crossrail workers!

Europe strikes - TUC name the day for a 24 hour general strike!

The 14 November Crossrail protest took place on the day that millions of workers in Southern Europe were on strike against the savage public sector austerity cuts.

There were general strikes in Greece, Spain and Portugal, and big strikes in countries like Italy. The National Shop Stewards Network is calling on the TUC in Britain to name the day for a 24-hour general strike.

This would bring together workers in the public and private sector who are all suffering attacks from the government and the bosses - all making us pay for the bankers' crisis.

A strike on this scale would also bring behind it all those fighting the cuts in the NHS and education along with those facing cuts to disabled benefits, in a mass movement that could bring down this Con-Dem government of the tax-avoiding rich.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

Related links:

Construction workers:

triangleFerrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

triangleSupport the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

triangleFerrybridge workers protest against 'race to bottom'


triangleUnite protest against blacklisting

triangleNorth east England blacklisting conference success

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleWho's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights


triangleSwansea Labour council votes for cuts

triangleSeeing-off the bigoted, billionaire toff!

triangleSalford Socialist Party: US gun control, the NRA and protest


triangleHinkley workers win back unpaid wages after sit-in protest

triangleZero new homes 'affordable' in Blairite Manchester


triangleCampaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened


triangleSchool strikes against academy management


triangleWorkplace news in brief

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Homes for All - Not billionaire profit!



School strikes against academy management



Hands Off HRI campaign granted judicial review



Refugee Rights to be launched in Manchester



Over 1,000 on Newcastle NHS march


Socialist Party

Why I joined: 'The Socialist Party is at the forefront of defending Corbyn's anti-austerity leadership'


Socialist Party

Past fund-raising campaigns show dedication to the fight for socialism


May Day

Ideas matter: help us fight to win with May Day greetings



Refugees march against racism and to demand rights



Unions condemn 'culture of bullying' at Merseyside hospital



Hull college workers ballot for action against mass redundancies



Strikers and parents rally again in Newham against academies



Hinkley workers win back unpaid wages after sit-in protest



UCU strike: staff and students unite to continue pensions fight after magnificent 14 days of action



Walkout from undercover policing inquiry

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018