Socialist Worker

Electricians occupy Thameslink construction site and 'take the fight to the bosses'

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2270

Inside the Farringdon site on Wednesday morning  (Pic: http://www.guysmallman.com/Guy Smallman )

Inside the Farringdon site on Wednesday morning (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Around 250 construction workers occupied the Thameslink Farringdon site in London this morning, Wednesday.

It was an important escalation in militancy in their ongoing campaign.

Workers are fighting employers’ attempts to tear up terms and conditions and implement a 35 percent pay cut.

As well as the protest in London, workers also protested in Manchester and in Newcastle.

In London, workers marched round the Thameslink Farringdon site and blocked the main entrance. Electricians came from across London to take part.

The UCU, RMT and CWU unions among others brought solidarity greetings to the protest.

Workers then decided, as one put it, to “take the protest to the bosses” because “sometimes you have to make it personal”.

They marched onto the site, past security and through barriers, and stopped work on a major central London construction site.

The protest was the first to be officially backed by the Unite union.

Assistant general secretary of Unite, Gail Cartmail, told workers that Unite is moving to ballot electricians over the attacks “as soon as possible”.

A number of workers are demanding that the ballot starts immediately and some believe unofficial action will be necessary to win the dispute.

Alan, an electrician on the London protest, told Socialist Worker, “This is just the beginning. Solidarity and unity is what will make the employers listen. The protests have to get bigger and we will need strikes.”

Another protest has been called for next Wednesday morning at King’s Cross station.


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News
Wed 21 Sep 2011, 08:35 BST
Issue No. 2270
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