Rank and file activists launch series of protests in London, Leeds and Cardiff over unilateral withdrawal by Crown House from pay agreements (pictured: construction workers pass protesters in London last week)

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Rank and file electricians have mobilised for a series of protests against major construction companies across the UK.

(Pictured: workers pass protesters to enter Crown House building site in central London last week)

Demonstrations are planned for Friday morning at sites in the City of London, and at construction projects in Leeds and Cardiff.

Activists are targeting the major construction firms, Crown House and Laing O’Rourke, after Crown House announced it was unilaterally withdrawing from an industry-wide agreement covering pay, training and safety for electricians and other tradespeople.

Unite is concerned that industry executives may be preparing for a repeat of last year’s ‘BESNA’ confrontation, which resulted in a pledge from six major employers, including Crown House, that they would take part in roundtable negotiations designed to draw up new agreements on pay and conditions for the whole sector.

Rank and file activists continue to be angered over what they say is the victimisation of union reps at a number of sites across the country.

Last week, dozens of construction workers and supporters took part in a lobby of the head office near Glasgow of Balfour Beatty and say they intend to challenge the redundancy of a leading rep at Grangemouth oil refinery.

The newly elected Rank and File committee is due to meet senior Unite officials next week (3 September) to discuss the victimisation cases and other industry business.


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