Reports and Campaigns

spotAbout the Socialist Party

spotAnti-capitalism

spotAnti-privatisation

spotAnti-war

spotElection campaigns

spotEnvironment

spotHealth

spotSocialist women

spotWorkplace

spotYouth and Students

All keywords


Youth keywords:

Apathy (2)

Apprenticeships (28)

ASBOs (7)

Black youth (13)

Campaign to Defeat Fees (40)

Childrens homes (1)

Croxteth Comprehensive School (1)

Educational Maintenance Allowance (4)

EMA (65)

Freshers fairs (15)

Gangs (6)

Grants (27)

Policing (52)

Sick Of Your Boss (18)

Students (1312)

Teenage obesity (1)

Workfare (43)

Workfare protests (6)

YFJ (98)

Young people (649)

Young workers (81)

Youth (624)

Youth Fight for Education (12)

Youth Fight for Jobs (369)


Reports and campaigns:

Anti-capitalism (1659)

Anti-fascist (1022)

Anti-racism (1275)

Anti-war (2372)

Art (619)

Asylum (406)

Black and Asian (597)

Children (517)

CNWP (121)

Corporate crime (3)

Disability (443)

Education (7498)

Election campaigns (4533)

Environment (1461)

EU (663)

Finance (211)

Food (362)

Gender Recognition Act (7)

Health and safety (42)

Health and welfare (1200)

Housing (2311)

Human Rights (522)

LGBT Pride (381)

Local government (5233)

Local services (4857)

Low pay (789)

Migration (71)

Nationalisation (221)

New workers party (581)

NHS (4657)

Pensions (993)

Post Office (277)

Poverty (766)

Privatisation (1283)

Public Services (1431)

Socialism (1243)

Socialist (71)

Sport (302)

Stop the slaughter of Tamils (7)

Students (3681)

The state (2399)

Transport (1046)

TUSC (1127)

Welfare rights (1376)

Women (1767)

Workplace and TU campaigns (19345)

Youth (3474)

Related websites

Youth Fight For Jobs

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

National Shop Stewards Network

Tamil Solidarity


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1123, 10 March 2021: Not a budget for the working class!

Search site for keywords: Electricians - Unite - Besna - Balfour Beatty - Construction - Apprenticeships

Sparks force bosses back but fight continues to stamp out deskilling

Electricians protesting at EDF offices in London 3 March 21. Photo Isai Priya

Electricians protesting at EDF offices in London 3 March 21. Photo Isai Priya   (Click to enlarge)

Rob Williams, Socialist Party industrial organiser

Rank-and-file construction electricians launched their fight against deskilling at the 22.5 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power station with a number of early morning protests on 24 February.

Socialist Party members and National Shop Stewards Network supporters took part as the 'sparks' demonstrated at EDF Energy in central London, and also protested in Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle. It appears that a training course for 'electrical support operatives' has now been suspended. This is undoubtedly a fantastic victory and shows what is possible when a fighting lead is given.

But the Unite Electrical and Mechanical Combine has promised that the fight goes on until the bosses "cease their systematic attack on the skill set of electricians and other trades immediately and forever."

The protests sent a clear message to the electrical contractors that an attempt to deskill the trade, and thereby attack pay, terms and conditions, as they tried to do a decade ago in the Besna dispute, will be met with the same ferocious struggle of protests and walkouts that defeated the bosses then. Two of the Besna companies, NG Baileys and Balfour Beatty, are now at the forefront of the latest dispute.

The electricians are determined that the same old story of making workers pay for the bosses' profits by using deskilling to attack wages and terms and conditions must be defeated.

This is more vital than ever during Covid and the economic crisis. This pandemic has decisively shown that militant union organisation on the sites is the only way to ensure workers' health and safety as well as defend living standards.

Unite has come out forcefully against the bosses' plans. In its statement it says: "The matter has been raised directly with the client EDF who have reacted to Unite's concerns. All training in this area has been postponed until the problem has been resolved. The disputed standards relate to cabling and containment work the 'bread and butter' work for electricians on new build construction projects. Unite was alerted to the substandard training standards at an early stage. There are no electricians working at Hinkley Point C, currently undertaking cabling and containment work, as this phase of the project is yet to begin. Due to the early intervention of Unite, the training of any worker or apprentice at Hinkley has not been disrupted as no one has begun to be trained on the ECTIB's defective training standards."

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "Unite defeated the Besna agreement then and we will defeat this latest attempt to deskill electricians. Our message to the industry is clear. Unite and its electrical membership will oppose any and all efforts to weaken the skill set of the trade which will undermine the industry by introducing non-skilled operatives."

The sparks are determined that any suspension of training has to be permanently ended and, the promise of 500 electrical apprenticeships be honoured at Hinkley. The fight continues, with weekly protests at NG Baileys and Balfour Beatty sites and will escalate up to and including strike action until this attack is defeated.







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

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999