65 electricians, all Unite members, took
unofficial strike action on 17th November for two days at Fiddler’s Ferry
Power Station in Warrington. This was over false redundancies.
The action eventually prevented any
lay-offs on the site. The electricians were working for Alstom through the
agency BMS on the NAIECI Agreement. Last week BMS had informed the workers that
there would be 65 redundancies as they had not been paid by Alstom.
The job still has six months to go before
completion. The workers felt it was more like a sacking than redundancy. A
meeting was held by the workers and a picket put on the site on 17th
November. None of the other trades crossed the picket line in a magnificent
show of solidarity. An offer was put to the workers whereby 45 would be taken
on by another agency and the rest to stay working with BMS. This is not ideal,
but at least nobody will be made redundant before Christmas.
The NAIECI Agreement is under attack by
employers. The construction officers of Unite and the GMB need to take a firmer
stand with the employers. In the meantime rank and file organisations at site
level will have to take the fight on board. Other sites in the UK must follow
the example of the Fiddler’s Ferry electricians. United we stand, divided we