Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 10 October, 2012 - 11:44

Street cleaners in the richest borough in London will vote on whether to strike, with action likely to take place on 29 October if the strike vote wins a majority.

The workers, who are employed by contractor SITA in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, are paid £7.85 an hour — less than the £8.30 that even Boris Johnson admits is the minimum amount necessary to live a decent life in the capital. Their pay is also significantly lower than other workers working for contractors in London Boroughs; street sweepers in the City of London earn £8.30 an hour.

According to GMB, the union which represents the workers, the average weekly wage in the borough is £1,305 — more than three times what the SITA cleaners earn.

Their strike ballot opens on 9 October, and will conclude on 19 October.

Sparks fight union busting

Since the sacking of 28 electrical construction workers three weeks ago, there have been daily pickets at the Westbourne Park Crossrail site.

Activists should arrive at the picket any time between 7am and 1pm. The nearest tube is Westbourne Park, and the site is opposite the station. Four or five pickets can cause havoc at the Crossrail site; just imagine what 40 or 400 could do!

Remarkably, there are those that still say blacklisting is a thing of the past. But it’s going on right here, right now. So as well as the daily pickets we have had some great protests over blacklisting and sackings with our comrades in the Blacklist Support Group.

BAM, the main contractor at Westbourne Park, are one of the biggest blacklisters going. There has been plenty of coverage in the press lately on blacklisting.

When employers break the law our response has to be civil disobedience all the way.

• 28 electricians were sacked from the Westbourne Park Crossrail site, including elected union stewards and health and safety reps. Since the sackings, a major accident has occurred on the site (a gantry collapsed onto the track).

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