Unite confirms Balfour Beatty will face a strike ballot next Wednesday

Around 1,000 angry electricians targeted London’s Shard and Blackfriars station today in a 12th week of protests against proposed changes to their pay and conditions.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of union Unite, which is organising the protests, told demonstrators the union would “fight and fight” against the proposed wage agreement put forward by eight major electrical contractors.

McCluskey announced Balfour Beatty will be the first contractor to be targeted by a strike ballot on Wednesday.

He told Building that the union intends to ballot all of the 6,500 workers affected at all eight of the contractors by the end of the month.

The protestors plan to march from Blackfriars station to Westminster to lobby Parliament later this afternoon.

Blane Judd, Chief Executive, HVCA, which drew up a proposed new agreement with the contractors, said: “We are deeply disappointed by Unite’s premature and unjustified decision to organise today’s protest.

“The claims by the Unite union that the new proposed agreement will lead to what it calls massive pay cuts and workers heading for the sack are total fiction.

“No one will take a pay cut – in fact 30 per cent will see an increase in their pay packets – and no one will lose their jobs.

“Unite demands that construction employers get back to the table for talks which is frustrating given that the union walked away in May and our door has remained open for six months.

“This new agreement will create job security and give apprentices and skilled staff a bright future which is something that British industry needs to see right now.”