Pickets created massive traffic tail-back at Longannet power station (left) during national walkout over NAECI agreement covering electricians’ pay rates


Electricians have walked off construction sites across the country in a new round of industrial unrest over pay.

The dispute over pay rates on so-called “Blue Book” sites comes on top of the four-month “BESNA” dispute – see our report here for more details.

Action began before dawn, with workers from more than twenty power stations, oil refineries and processing plants joining forces at a number of pickets, such as Manchester town hall, Llandough hospital in Cardiff,  the Longannet power station in Fife, Kings Cross station in London and John Moore’s University in Liverpool.

The 20-year old “Blue Book”, or NAECI agreements cover scores of major sites across the UK and were designed to prevent different employers and sub-contractors from under-cutting wages by establishing industry-wide rates.

Unite has called on employers to create a register of unemployed workers in the industry which firms must use as their first call to fill vacancies, as well as allowing full-time union officials to visit sites to investigate breaches of rules.

Scott Foley, Unite officer in Scotland told pickets at the Longannet power station: “It is vital we get more elected stewards on these sites. It’s through being organised that we’ll be successful in this campaign.”

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