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Laing O'Rourke Workers Strike

Features | 05.11.2004 23:00 | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements

Workers employed by construction giant Laing O'Rourke have refused to sign a new pay and condition deal which halves their pay, while making it so that the pay is subsidised by bonuses, but the company can choose to whom they can give bonuses, in which their holiday pay is cut by £20 per day, and where they will have to bring in a medical certificate after being absent for one day.

Reports: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Photos: [1] [2]
See also: Schnews, Labournet.

Sign Your Rights Away Today
Sign Your Rights Away Today

They have not been allowed by management to see the contract in full, and they have been told that they will lose their jobs if they do not sign it. Workers from many sites have refused to sign, without the backing of their union UCATT. Steve Hedley, RMT member, and Joint Sites Commitee activist has said:

"What the hell is a discretionary bonus? How can your union sign up to something that your boss can decide whether or not he is going to pay? It's fine to go back on the cards but if were strong and stick together we can stop this. We are the ones who are doing the job."

Workers at the site near King's cross requested the presence of GMB (major general worker's union) representative, Steve Kelly. Managers, however threw him off the site. The GMB's position on the contract is somewhat different to that of UCATT: they have advised their members not to sign the contract until they have seen all of it.

Already workers have been active. Earlier this month, at the King's cross site, when Steve Hedley was sacked unfairly, 100 workers walked off in support. Last week, over 200 workers at the site near King's cross attended a lunchtime meeting and elected workshop stewards.

On Friday, November 5th there was a solidarity protest. This included a samba band.

Other recent examples of activity over pay and conditions have been the the ongoing civil service strike, which included action on Friday, November 5th, and the protest in favour of justice for the Canary Wharf cleaners.



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  1. UPDATE - GMB Allowed on Site + Meeting this Thursday — Solidarity