Union to bus in protestors to target London’s Shard and Blackfriars station

Union Unite is planning to bus in protestors from across the country to target London’s Shard and Blackfriars station, as unrest over planned changes to electricians’ pay and conditions intensifies.

In a statement the union said it was pushing ahead with plans to ballot up to 6,500 electricians for strike action over the dispute, starting off with Balfour Beatty’s electrical workers.

The protests on Wednesday November 10 will begin at 11.30am at the Shard, before moving on to Blackfriars station at 1pm and finishing at the House of Commons, where protestors will lobby Parliament.

The action is being taken after eight of the industry’s largest electrical contractors – including Balfour Beatty and NG Bailey – agreed to ditch a 40-year-old wage agreement between employers and workers in favour of drawing up a new agreement.

In an eleventh week of protests, up to 250 demonstrators descended on a £10m Land Securities refurbishment job at 110 Cannon Street in London.

One of the eight contractors – Gratte Brothers – is working on the project.

Speaking about next week’s protest, Unite national officer Bernard McAuley said: “Unite is calling on employers to stop bullying their workers and withdraw their intention to dismiss workers who do not sign away their livelihoods.

“These employers need to pull back from the brink and get back around the negotiating table to bring stability back to the construction industry.”

Blane Judd, chief executive of the HVCA, which drew up a proposed new agreement with the contractors, said: “Those set for the London march should be aware of the facts of the new agreement before they set off for the capital given the union is pumping out so many myths.”