Engineering construction

Blacklist Support Group statement on coronavirus

We have been sent the following statement by the Blacklist Support Group, which organises among construction workers. See also the reports sent to socialist film-makers Reel News, who work with Blacklist Support, by construction workers from across the country here. Reel News also say to check out their Twitter @reelnewslondon and @shutthesites, as well as the hashtag #shutthesites, for updates. *** BLACKLIST SUPPORT GROUP STATEMENT ON CORONAVIRUS Blacklist Support Group supports two linked demands for the construction sector: #ShutTheSites - Close all non-essential building sites to keep...

Workers close Ivy House for job security and union recognition

Workers at the Ivy House pub in Nunhead (South London) have been on strike since the morning of 30 September in a dispute about four sudden, unexplained dismissals, zero hours contracts and union recognition. They want reinstatement or at least suspension with pay and a proper process for reviewing the cases; secure, fixed hours contracts; and recognition of their union, the BFAWU. The pub has remained completely shut down, meaning that its normal extensive Sunday lunch crowds got not their normal meal but conversations with the pickets – who got overwhelming support, as they have from the...

Industrial news in brief

Service controllers on the Waterloo and City Line on London Underground (LU) have been fighting for regrading. They struck from 28-30 September. One of the activists spoke to Tubeworker. What’s happening to us is part of a wider picture. London Underground is cutting staff in a variety of areas, and our experiences – of essentially being promoted to more responsible roles, involving more work, without that being reflected in our pay – mirror what’s currently happening to station staff. They’ve picked on us particularly because we’re a small unit, but if we can win our fight for justice it...

Industrial news in brief

United Voices of the World (UVW) union continues its protests in support of sacked union members Barbara and Percy. Barbara and Percy were sacked from Sotheby’s auction house, where they worked as porters and cleaners, after they helped organise a protest to demand sick pay and for trade union rights. On Monday 7 September UVW organised a protest at a car auction Sotheby’s was holding in Battersea park. Two of the four UVW activists originally sacked by Sotheby’s have got their jobs back, but Sotheby’s continues to victimise Percy and Barbara. • Find out more here Gallery strikes continue...

Industrial news in brief

UCU members at seven London colleges struck today as Solidarity went to press (Tuesday 23 June) in disputes over job losses. Strikes will happen at College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, South Thames College, College of North West London, Croydon College, Greenwhich Community College, Hackney Community College, and Lewisham Southwark College (LeSoCo). Today's strike is the fourth for workers at LeSoCo, who struck on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 June. Management plan to cut as many as 175 jobs at the college and close the Camberwell site, severely reducing the quality of education for...

Industrial news in brief

Following a one-day strike at Lewisham and Southwark College on 4 June, union members report a different atmosphere in the college. The dispute has now broken out of the world of committee meetings and into the classrooms and corridors, canteens and staff rooms. Everybody now has to have a position on the strike, everybody has to think about taking a side. For many staff and students, this is a further political education and a first direct experience of trade union struggle. Managers walk around smiling, trying to convince themselves things are back to normal, that is, closing sites, sacking...

Industrial news in brief

Two hundred GMB members employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South London have voted for strikes to end two-tier conditions in NHS. The dispute is for the same pay rates, weekend enhancements and unsocial hours rates as the staff directly employed by the Trust. The GMB members are employed as cleaners, security, ward hostesses, caterers, on the switchboard and as porters. On 23 September GMB organised a protest outside the bondholders meeting of the PFI operator for the hospital. ISS workers, which includes cleaners, security, ward hostesses, caterers, switchboard operators...

Industrial news in brief

Cinema workers at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton have announced 11 April as the date for the first strike in their dispute over pay. Members of BECTU at the cinema have conducted a long-running campaign to win the London Living Wage of £8.80 an hour. The typical hourly rate at the Ritzy is currently £7.24. Workers voted to strike by an 85% majority. Sparks win contract fight Electricians working at a Network Rail construction site in Three Bridges, Sussex won new contracts following a wildcat strike on 4 April. Following attempts by the agency through with they were employed to worsen their terms...

More battles for construction workers

Plumbers and heating and ventilation engineers in the Unite union have overwhelmingly rejected a below-inflation pay offer, with their union threatening to move to an industrial action ballot unless the offer is improved. The Building and Engineering Services Association (BESA) is offering a two-year deal with a freeze in the first year and a 1.5 percent increase in the second year, despite what Unite calls their “healthy profit margins and order books”. Workers rejected the deal by a margin of nine to one. BESA employers are the same contractors behind last year’s attempt to comprehensively...

Sparks win as contractors cave

The attempt by the UK’s major construction contractors to impose a new collective agreement for mechanical and electrical construction workers has collapsed after the remaining six companies followed industry leader Balfour Beatty Engineering Services in performing an embarrassing u-turn. The “Building Engineering Services National Agreement” (BESNA), the proposed replacement for the existing Joint Industry Board, is now decisively dead-in-the-water after employers’ organisation the Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association (HVCA) agreed to negotiations with Unite, the union representing...

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