In Solidarity with Siteworkers Facing up to 35% pay cuts

A national dispute has been running for the last couple of months over planned changes in the construction industry. There have been wildcat strikes around the UK, particularly in London. The dispute is over the decision by 8 major contractors to withdraw from the JIB agreement on pay and conditions, and replace it with their own set of terms, called BESNA.
You can read more about this here.
The outcome of this is up to 35% pay cuts for electricians and plumbers, and de-skilling as fully qualified tradesmen and women are replaced with apprentices and semi-skilled workers.

Birmingham Against the Cuts expresses solidarity with private sector workers facing cuts to their pay and conditions, as employers seek to use the recession and high unemployment to drive down wages.
This dispute, and the Unilever Pension dispute, are perhaps the most important issues in the private sector at the moment.

On Saturday, there is a Unite Rank and File meeting in Birmingham, at Carrs Lane Church from 1pm-4pm. All construction workers and trade unionists are welcome to attend. Until now, there has not been any action taking place in Birmingham, and this meeting is intended to help create something.
We hope that anti-cuts activists will follow the example set in London on November 9th, when the electricians tried to meet up with students demonstrating against the privatisation of higher education, only to be stopped by the MET police. The links that have been built between the two groups were evident as the student demo passed building sites to cheers rather than jeers, and placards were displayed in support of the anti-cuts / student movements on building sites by the route.

If you are a siteworker, or work off site in the construction industry, please come to this meeting. The employers will not stop with the JIB agreement – if they are able to make these changes for M&E workers, then they will turn to the other trades, and carpenters, plasterers and bricklayers will soon find their pay being attacked, followed by groundworkers, plant drivers, labourers and other semi/unskilled positions.
We must all unite, private and public sector, to defeat this government, and the austerity agenda that is being imposed on us, which is maintaining the economy in a depressed state, allowing these things to occur. There are alternatives, and together we can make these reality.


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