Sparks gear up for Balfour Beatty fight

Submitted by Matthew on 1 February, 2012 - 1:55

On 2 February we should have the BBES [Balfour Beatty Engineering Services] ballot result.

A yes vote is vital, and any legal challenge should be met with ultimate force by Unite, and ignored by responding in the only way we know, with a call for “all out”, no matter what.

Come on Unite; no more Mr Nice Guy! The rank and file have led the way since

August last year and will continue to fight, but now Unite must show the BESNA [the new collective agreement unilaterally proposed by contractors] seven that we are all serious.

Unite has drafted Kevin Coyne in to head up the campaign, assisted by Bernard McAuley. We now know that another official, Sharon Graham, has been assigned to help with organising.

We appreciate this, but will be watching closely. We remember that Coyne, as an appointed official back in 2008, ran against Derek Simpson on a right-wing ticket for General Secretary, finishing behind both Simpson and Jerry Hicks. Has he now moved over to the left due to the rank and file’s tremendous actions in recent months?

We would love a big yes vote, and a swift victory. However, the dispute may rumble on through February and past March if the BESNA 7 dig their heels in.

We may have to change our tactics slightly. This needs to be discussed at the recalled national Rank-and-File meeting in Birmingham (4 February, 1-4pm, Carrs Lane Centre, Carrs Lane). We need to get a plan together for the actions to be taken the following week throughout the UK.

If anyone needs assistance with travel costs to Birmingham please let us know as soon as possible. Email:

• Adapted from Siteworker

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