Sparks protest against BAM in Cardiff
Solidarity with workers sacked in London
An agitated site manager ran out to meet the first protesters to arrive this morning, as construction workers and their supporters gathered in Cathays in Cardiff to protest in solidarity with the 30 workers sacked by BAM on the Crossrail project.
As the crowd increased, he gave up trying to convince us that the right of companies to make profits was more important than the right of workers to get direct employment and a decent rate of pay, and protesters settled down to leaflet the around 100 workers currently employed on the project. BAM has been contracted by Cardiff University to put up the Haydn Ellis building, a £20 million research facility.
A Wales representative on the National Rank and File committee, explained, "Crossrail is a multi-billion pound project that will eventually employ thousands of electricians and other workers. BAM seems to be trying to clear the main union organisers off the site at the beginning so that they can take it the way that the Olympics went: I remember everybody saying they were looking forward to getting onto that job but nobody I knew ever did because they were only willing to use unorganised cheap labour."
BAM's actions will backfire - the workers on site enthusiastically supported the protest (one young worker forced into bogus self-employment shouted, "F@&k the agencies: give us holiday pay as he drove past." The unions are reconquering the construction industry: provocations like BAM's actions in London will only accelerate that.
Construction workers will be lobbying Cardiff and Vale Health Board with Cardiff Against The Cuts to demand they blacklist the blacklisters, and cut construction contracts with anti-trade union firms. The lobby starts at 5.30pm on Wednesday 26th September at County Hall, Cardiff Bay.
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