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Fri January 28 2022

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Scunthorpe scaffolders strike again

14 Jan Scaffolders employed by Actavo at the British Steel plant in Scunthorpe have voted for more industrial action in 2022.

Scaffolders employed by Actavo at the British Steel plant in Scunthorpe have voted for more industrial action in 2022.

The scaffolders have agreed to begin continuous strike action beginning on Wednesday 26th January.

The long-running dispute is over pay – the scaffolders are getting below standard industry rates. The workers maintain 500 scaffolding structures at the British Steel site.

After 12 weeks of strike action in 2021 and now an 83% vote in favour of more action in 2022, Actavo and British steel face an escalation of industrial action.

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Although the scaffolders are employed by Actavo, the Unite union wants British Steel to get involved, as the client, and demand Actavo apply the national agreement and pay the going rate.

Problems began in 2019, when the scaffolding contractor was Brand Energy, not Actavo. Scaffolders have not been paid in line with the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI). The rates for the workforce are currently between 10% and 15% (depending on specific roles) below these rates.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Both Actavo and British Steel need to take responsibility and sort this mess out. I hope this overwhelming vote for more strike action in 2022 will focus minds and spur the management into action to resolve this dispute. The employers could have industrial peace in 2022. Or else we are prepared to fight tooth and nail to stop the race to the bottom."

 Unite regional officer Richard Bedford said: “There is an unwavering determination to protect the national agreement and the rate for the job. We call on both British Steel and Actavo to join Unite in tripartite discussions.  It's time to stop passing the buck and for all parties to get around the negotiating table so the scaffolders can get back to work.”

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