Construction ballot: don’t waste the potential!

Submitted by Newcastle on 10 September, 2009 - 11:05 Author: By Gerry Bates

There is another dispute looming in engineering construction.

A national ballot of workers on seven major sites, organised by both the GMB and Unite ran from 11 August to 1 September, taking up the employers’ refusal to make a pay offer or give any guarantees of employment security in the review of the NAECI agreement for 2010.

The unions have not published the ballot result. They are putting new proposals from the employers to a national shop stewards’ meeting on 17 September.

The two waves of wildcat strikes earlier this year showed that solidarity, all-out action and workplace democracy win. In workplace meetings it was also possible to tackle the nationalism and even racism of some members by opposing the use of slogans like "British jobs for British workers”. (A process not helped by Derek Simpson posing with this slogan for the Daily Star!)

Power stations can be shut down by legal strike action. The plan is to target several power stations and completely shut them down.

Compromise and sluggishness will not only risk losing the confidence of these militant workers, but open the trade union movement up to more attacks from employers and government.

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