Clash of the Titans: Sparks versus the rogue 7 ‘London calling’
For the last 3 months there have been tons of demos and protests going on around the country with barely a mention in the media.
That was until last week when Sparks and supporters in London took our protest against 35 per cent wage cuts in a solidarity gesture joining the Occupy camp to the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The 300-strong demonstration, which has been present on the streets of London every Wednesday at dawn for the last three months, marched from Cannon Street building site. Sparks, supporters including students gave police the run around, taking an unexpected detour to show solidarity with Occupy London protesters.
Gathering on the steps of St Paul’s, activists addressed the camp with loud hailers as startled ITV and BBC reporters rushed to film us.
Drawing attention to the forthcoming day of student action on November 9 and the national ballot of construction workers at Balfour Beatty, electricians’ spark ‘Eddie Current’ told cheering protesters: “If they are going to cut our pay by 35 per cent we will shut down London.”
Mick Dooley received the cheer of the day when he said “There is a movement called socialists and I am proud to be part of it.” Mick, who has been on the protests from the start day has been outrageously barred by UCATT from being a candidate for its General Secretary election. We owe him our support to get him back on the ballot paper.
And so to this week, Wednesday November 9th. Those that are unable to get to London are planning their own demo and protest against the rogue 7.
But we expect thousands of construction workers to descend on London to demonstrate over an unprecedented attack on our skills and pay as we up the ante on the bosses in the run up to the ballot and ‘D day’.
Unite is providing coaches from all over the country to bring electricians, plumbers and heating and ventilation engineers to the capital for this national day of protest
If you want to come but still don’t know about transport then email NOW Unites National Construction Officer Bernard McAulay email@example.com
What to expect and what to do on Wednesday 9th November
7am The Pinnacle (near Liverpool Street Station) called by London Rank & File:
11:30am @ The Shard (London Bridge) – UNITE Official event
1pm Rally at Blackfriars Station building site
Now the choice: UNITE are then planning to march 1000s of building workers away from the major projects and off to lobby MPs in Westminster
What for? What’s that about eh? We say………This dispute will be won by stopping production on the big jobs – not by appealing to the good nature of politicians
If we have got thousands of angry sparks in the middle of The City on 9th November – we should do more than just listen to speeches – we should physically close down the sites – The Pinnacle – The Shard – Blacklfriars Station – Crossrail
This dispute has been led by the rank and file from the beginning – and we willl run it on the 9th November as well.
But with D day [December 7th] looming there is still loads to be done if we are to give ourselves a fighting chance of victory. So we are asking the question of our union and its appointed officials.
“Have Unite made sure that every area aware of what’s going on with BESNA?”
“Have they been calling meetings and protests across the whole UK?”
Up to now we have not heard of any activity in Wales, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Preston, or the South West including Bristol,
No news of meetings let alone protest in the South East, Portsmouth, or Southampton.
Will NAEICI agreement eventually affected? Has an appeal gone out from Unite asking them to support the day of action on the 9th? This is another section of workers we shouldn’t forget.
Surely Unite officials should be getting round to all sites informing members of this outrageous attack on JIB agreement. But we doubt that they are so again we must take the lead.
Leeds Rank and File sparks have organised a meeting in 14th November 7pm/7.30pm [to be finalised] Cosmopolitan Hotel, 2 Lower Briggate, Leeds.
We need meetings everywhere. So get in touch and we will help you set up a Rank and File meeting in your City, Town or area. Have the meeting target a site and take the fight to the rogue 7.
Our future, your future and the next generations future depends on what we do right now.
Ballot timetable reminder:
Unite will open the ballot of 1,000 workers at Balfour Beatty BBES on November 14th. Counting to be finished by November 28th. A yes vote yes will mean strike action [and walkouts!!!!] will begin on December 7th. Make sure you get a ballot paper and make sure you send it back. With a ‘YES’ for strike action.