This morning (Wednesday 5 October) sees demonstrations in London, Liverpool and Lanarkshire, and on Friday evening an industry awards dinner in Glasgow will be targeted.
Members of the Unite union are unhappy with proposals by seven of the UK’s largest M&E contractors to drop the Joint Industry Board and other long-standing agreements in favour of a new structure for industrial relations drawn up by the Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA).
The union claims that the restructuring to bring in a single agreement for mechanical, electrical and plumbing workers will result in pay cuts of up to 30% because of the introduction of a new grade of semi-skilled workers.
Seven companies are adopting Besna: NG Bailey, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, T Clarke, Crown House Technologies, Gratte Brothers, Shepherd Engineering Services and SPIE Matthew Hall.
An eighth firm, MJN Colston, had planned to join Besna, but backed off in the face of the upset caused.
Today’s protests targeted sites at which Besna companies are working. In London, demonstrators gathered at 6.30am at T Clarke’s Park House site, opposite Selfridges near Oxford Street
In Liverpool, the protest focused was at Liverpool Central Library, where Shepherd Engineering is working.
In Lanarkshire, demonstrators met at Cambuslang fire station on Clydesmill Industrial Estate, where Balfour Beatty is on site.
On Friday evening Unite activists plan to target the Select Electro Technical Awards, a gala black-tie event for the industry, in Glasgow.
Construction workers will protest outside the luxury Radisson Blu Hotel in Agyle Street from 6.00pm on 7 October, an hour before the event starts.