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Fri July 19 2024

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More Besna protests planned

6 Dec 11 Further protests by construction workers unhappy at employers moving away from long-standing industry employment agreements are planned for sites across the country tomorrow (Wednesday 7 December).

According to the Unite union, protests can be expected by hundreds of workers outside sites including: SSI steelworks at Redcar; Cardiff Hospital; St Catherine’s Hospital in Birkenhead, London’s Thameslink site at Blackfriars; and Balfour Beatty’s head office in Glasgow.

Balfour Beatty is one of seven building contractors who have set up the Building Engineering Services National Agreement (Besna) to replace the existing Joint Industry Board (JIB) national industry agreement for mechanical and electrical workers. Besna has been drawn up by the Heating & Ventilation Contractors Association.

Some 81% of Unite members at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES) recently voted to strike, but BBES won a legal challenge to this. Unite is now planning to re-ballot BBES employees, along with two other contractors that are proposing to move to Besna.

Unite stressed that the protests outside construction sites do not represent industrial action and nor are they a call for unofficial strike action by Unite. Demonstrations are being held outside of working hours and off site.

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