Thursday, 27 October 2011

Yesterday's North East demo by the Unite union at Ashington School

SIXTY people started the demonstration well before dawn. The site is off a main road and to get to it you have to go down a fairly narrow pathway just wide enough for traffic in one direction. The site is Kier, and Balfours is the electrical contractor. At the start the site manager was very unhappy at us demonstrating on private land that we did not have permission to be on. He complained that we were causing a traffic jam on the main road outside the site. Nevertheless we stayed our ground to put our case to those going into work. Twenty electricians walked off from the site.

Then the police arrived but were fine especially when we had a talk with them about their terms and conditions being undermined especially by the employment of special constables who did the work on a voluntary basis. These police seemed to understand though they did not say so that they were facing the same attacks as every other private and public sector employee. After an hour or so senior national mangers of Kier and Balfours arrived. These people were not happy at being stopped by and then forced to drive through a very noisy demonstration but by the time they got onto the pathway into the site they couldn't turn round. After a while we saw them skulking around the site not looking too happy. We all considered this was a very good demonstration especially as it was in a fairly isolated place, it buoyed people up quite a lot.

Although we have still not seen ANY full time official from Unite at ANY of our demonstrations, we will continue to invite them at our next demonstration planned for the very future. So we live in hope that we might see a North East full time official Unite. Does anyone know why the North East regional office of Unite appear to refuse to its members any help, support or encouragement?

No comments: