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Wed February 28 2024

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Striking construction workers to besiege London on 9 November

2 Nov 11 Thousands of construction workers are expected to descend on London to demonstrate over pay, as Unite prepares for a strike ballot at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services.

Unite, the UK’s largest union, is providing coaches from all over the country to bring electricians, plumbers and heating & ventilating engineers to the capital for a national day of protest.

The rally will assemble at the Shard by London Bridge at 11.30am, move on to Balfour's Blackfriars station building site for 1pm-1.30pm, before a march down the Embankment to the House of Commons for a lobby of Parliament.

United said the day of protest and lobby of Parliament is over “an attack by Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, along with six other leading construction companies, which intend to withdraw from five long-standing agreements and impose new semi-skilled grades with massive cuts in pay”.

Unite national officer Bernard McAulay said: “Unite is calling on employers to stop bullying their workers and withdraw their intention to dismiss workers who do not sign away their livelihoods. These employers need to pull back from the brink and get back around the negotiating table to bring stability back to the construction industry.”

The national day of protest follows demonstrations by thousands of rank and file construction workers outside sites up and down the country, including Sellafield, Grangemouth and Ratcliffe power stations, Blackfriars and Kings Cross station and Lindsey oil refinery.

The timescale for the ballot with Balfour Beatty has yet to be confirmed and the locations of strikes will be decided in due course.

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