HVCA says 88% of workers have signed controversial agreeement despite threat of strike action

Almost 90% of workers have signed up to the controversial Building Engineering Services National Agreement (BESNA).

Around 6,000 workers are being asked to sign up to BESNA before the first week of April or face redundancy. The Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA) said today that 88% of those workers who were asked to sign and return their BESNA contracts have done so.

The HVCA said the latest figures showed that union Unite should back down in its opposition to the scheme.

Blane Judd, HVCA’s chief executive, said: “The companies have always communicated the facts about BESNA to their employees and it’s good to see that this information has been so well received.

“We hope that Unite will also now acknowledge the facts, cease making false claims about pay cuts and deskilling and stop threatening unjustified industrial action.”

Unite argues that seven contractors represented by the HVCA are introducing de-skilling and poorer terms and conditions through BESNA.

It claims that a recent ballot of Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES) voted in favour of strike action by two to one, with BBES currently trying to see the ballot ruled illegal by the High Court.

The HVCA argues that BESNA will actually safeguard jobs, improve efficiency and create “upskilling opportunities for many workers”.

The other six companies working with HVCA to introduce BESNA are Crown House Technologies, Gratte Brothers, NG Bailey, Shepherd Engineering Services, SPIE Matthew Hall and T Clarke.