Sparks dispute stakes out Tate Modern
CONSTRUCTION workers campaigning against plans by a group of employers to cut wages by up to 30 per cent and tear up agreements on terms and conditions last Wednesday very early in the morning staged the latest in a long series of demonstrations outside London’s Tate Modern art gallery.
The giant union Unite staged a demonstration of around 100 workers at the extension being built at the iconic former Bankside Power Station opposite the Millennium Bridge, just before the gallery opened to thousands of visitors.
The key to the dispute is that seven rogue employers want to impose 30 per cent pay cuts and a worsening of employment conditions for thousands of construction workers by an arbitrary 7th December deadline – if they don’t capitulate, they face the sack.
One of the “not-so-magnificent seven” contractors who want to impose the changes, T Clarkes Plc, has an electrical contract on the extension, currently under construction, at the Tate Modern.
Unite regional officer, Vince Passfield, said: “By protesting outside such an iconic building, construction workers will be showing their employers just how fired up they are at the threat to de-skill their jobs and cut their pay by a third.
"If these companies get away with this attack our members won't be able to pay for their mortgages or support their families.”
Sparks also demonstrated on the same day outside Manchester Library.
Similar demonstrations have hit construction sites throughout the country, including the Linsted Oil refinery, the Olympic Village in east London and last week Oxford Circus, where there were clashes with police.
Don’t destroy Remploy
REMPLOY workers descended on Parliament on Wednesday 12th October to urge MPs to keep their factories working, as the Government’s consultation into their future nears its end.
The giant union Unite says that the jobs of 2,800 disabled workers are at risk because the Government would rather pull the plug and sell off the publicly-funded factories than invest in skilled jobs for disabled workers.
The Government is currently consulting on the Sayce report, due to end in mid-October, which Unite believes is nothing more than a smokescreen to close Remploy’s 54 factories and throw 2,800 workers to the back of the dole queue.
No to posh parties in memorial gardens
MARITIME UNION RMT said last week that the proposal to hold Christmas parties for bankers in the memorial gardens to the merchant seafarers who have lost their lives since the First World War has been blocked by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets as a result of a protest campaign mobilised by politicians, unions, seafarers’ organisations and the local community.
In a statement on the Tower Hamlets website Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “The Council do not wish to cause any offence to any of the parties involved. As it [the proposed bankers parties in Trinity Square Gardens] no longer has the support of Trinity House and the maritime community I have put a stop this event."
Ward Councillor and Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr Shahed Ali, added, "These gardens are an important part of the borough's heritage and I am extremely glad the Mayor has used his executive powers to stop this event taking place."