Organisers claim more protests will follow over on-going wage dispute

About 200 angry electricians attended a protest outside Westfield shopping centre in Stratford this morning, as the unrest over wages intensified.

Protest organisers said the demonstration was peaceful and no disruption was caused to access to the construction site.

Electrical contractor T Clarke, which is working on the Westfield project, was the target of today’s protests.

T Clarke and seven other contractors announced earlier this month they plan to ditch the 40 year old wage agreement between electrical contractors and workers, known as the Joint Industry Board agreement.

The breakaway contractors have drawn up a replacement agreement called the Building Engineering Services national agreement which they say will help modernise the industry.

Union Unite, which has said it does not support the protests, claims the new agreement is a direct attack on its members’ pay and conditions.

About 100 workers attended a similar protest outside Balfour Beatty’s Blackfriars station construction site last Tuesday.

One of the protesters said: “We’re trying to get the message across. There will be more protests. We are taking the action our union should be taking.”