Sparks walk out on three sites in North East and Nottinghamshire over ‘sign or be sacked’ contracts


More than 1,000 electricians have staged a spontaneous, unofficial walkout from three major construction sites in the North East and Nottinghamshire.

The action – at Corus and Conoco complexes on Teeside, and the Radcliffe power station in Nottinghamshire – is the latest escalation in the three-month dispute over the threat by seven construction firms to enforce new contracts which Unite says will cut safety and skill levels on sites across the UK and slash pay by 33%.

Rank and file activists say the unofficial sparks pickets blocked traffic around the Teeside plant for severel hours from 6.30am. Police reported lengthy rush hour tailbacks as a result of the action.

Construction at the Corus site is operated by Balfour Beatty, which Unite regards as the ring-leader of the breakaway employers. They are threatening to imposed the disputed ‘sign or be sacked’ contracts on December 7th. Unite is scheduled to begin balloting more than 1,000 members at four Balfour Beatty sites on Wednesday for strike action against the new contracts.

One of the Teeside activists  told UnionNews: “We’ll be back at these three sites for more action on Wednesday. As our campaign against the contracts gains support, we’re going to be targeting more sites. Everybody in the sites knows what’s going on, it’s been building for so long.”

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