Sparks fly as electricians confront bosses in Glasgow
The pavement outside the Radisson Hotel on Argyle Street, Glasgow was the setting of a showdown last night between electricians – currently fighting the tearing up of a national pay agreement that will see wage cuts of up to 35 percent and the wholesale de-skilling of their trade – and industry bosses, who were arriving for a glitzy awards bash.
Around one hundred electricians and supporters gathered outside the hotel from early evening in a protest organised by Unite, as tuxedo-attired construction chiefs, visibly shaken, sipped champagne within the glass confines of the hotel. Industry bosses were heckled and booed as they entered the hotel, with chants going up of “we’re going to ruin your party” and “we’re coming to get you!”.
This was the latest in an ongoing series of protests following the decision by eight major firms to pull out of the national JIB agreement, which offers protection on pay and conditions. Already one company has been forced to enter back into the agreement – the other seven have yet to follow.
This is a vital struggle to protect workers’ rights in the private sector, with the economic crisis being used as a pretext to smash the joint-industry agreement. Further protests are set to be staged over the few next weeks across the country, including at Govan Shipyard this Wednesday 12 October. Unite have told their members to get organised and to get ready for a ballot, as the employers prepare to impose deadlines for signing onto the new terms and conditions.