Thursday 7 June 2012

Another victory for the sparks

A walk-out by 800 workers at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in Nottinghamshire last week won the reinstatement of Unite health and safety rep Jason Poulter.

Jason had been suspended by SPIE Matthew Hall for allegedly bullying a fellow worker, when in fact he had advised the said worker not to stop a mechanical saw with his hand.

Workers at Ratcliffe-on-Soar saw the suspension as a clear case of victimisation.

SPIE Matthew Hall, alongside other major construction companies such as Balfour Beatty were defeated earlier this year in their attempts to impose new contracts that included 35% pay cuts for electricians.

Rank-and-file electricians organised a sustained campaign of protests and strikes that beat the bosses back.

The attempt to remove a key union activist shows the bosses’ lust for revenge and the need to develop rank-and-file unity on each site irrespective of employer, trade and union.

In a fantastic show of solidarity, GMB union members voted to walk off the site and they were followed by Capes’ scaffolders. Later 379 workers at Doosan Babcocks voted unanimously to walk out.

No wonder then that bosses backed down on all disciplinary charges.

Again the rank-and-file in building industry is providing very important lessons for the whole labour movement.

 

Follow the latest news at the rank and file blog Electricians Against the World.

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