Unions claim electricians’ wages could be cut by up to 35%
Protesters joined a demonstration outside Balfour Beatty’s Blackfriars Station site this morning to voice their anger at proposed changes to their wages and conditions.
Unions claim contractors including Balfour Beatty and SES are planning to cut wages by up to 35%, although the contractors deny this.
Eight major electrical contractors are planning to walk out on the 40-year old Joint Industry Board wage agreement from March next year in order to set up a new pay scheme.
The protest began around 7am outside Blackfriars Station. Speaking at the rally, Steve Kelly, Unite’s London and South East branch secretary, called on protesters to “stand strong” against the pay cuts. “It will be a tough fight but if we get together we can do it”, he said.
Kelly said he believed the eight contractors’ decision to pull out for the JIB pay agreement was driven by profit “pure and simple” and said he thought strike action would be successful in stopping the scheme from coming into force in March.
“We’ve toppled them twice before,” said Kelly, referring to successful demonstrations against industry pay cuts in 1991 and 1997. “I don’t see why we couldn’t do it again.”
The eight contractors who have left the JIB agreement
- Bailey Building Services
- Balfour Beatty
- Tommy Clarke
- Crown House Technologies
- Gratte Brothers
- MJN Colston
- SPIE Matthew Hall