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(en) Catalist #8 - Sparks of anger

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 24 Oct 2003 08:34:34 +0200 (CEST)

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Since May, there have been daily
pickets outside the prestigious
Piccadilly Gardens development in
Manchester. The action began when four
electricians were sacked by the contractor
DAF Electrical for forming a branch of the
TGWU/EPIU and insisting on their right to
direct employment. There were seven
further dismissals as other electricians took
unofficial strike action in solidarity.
DAF have used the terms of the JIB (Joint
Industry Board for the Electrical Contracting
Industry) to justify the sackings. This body
represents Britain's longest running `sweetheart
deal', under which the employers pay workers'
dues direct to the union (originally the EETPU,
but now, through a series of mergers, Amicus).
As such, no other unions are recognised.
Meanwhile, the sacked electricians' work is
being handled by unskilled labourers, which
itself is a breach of JIB regulations. So too are
the pay (5/hour v. 7.10 JIB rate) and out of
town allowances (5/day plus sleeping bag v. the
28 JIB rate for B&B) that DAF is paying their
scabs. As usual, employers break agreements
with impunity while union officials look the
other way. In a similar vein, it was the sacked
men, not Amicus officials, who forced a reluctant
Health and Safety Executive into investigating
DAF's unsafe working practices. The use of low
paid unskilled workers to do electrical and other
such potentially hazardous work is an
increasingly widespread feature in the
construction industry, and partly explains the
currently rocketing death and accident toll.
The T&G eventually gave this dispute official
backing in early July and is representing the
workers through the industrial tribunal process.
To contribute to the fighting fund, send cheques,
payable to `A. Jones', to: Mr S. Acheson, 13
Thompson Close, Danebank, Denton M34 2PQ.
Tel. 07813 456831. For further details on the
strike and on the JIB sweetheart deal, see the next
issue of Direct Action, due out in September.

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