Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sparks Continue Battle Against Employers and "Union Fat Cats"

It's now a week since Unite construction officer Bernard McAulay slammed the "cancerous" Sparks rank-and-file movement, but the furious electricians show no signs of giving up their independent fightback against wage cuts of up to 35%. Over the weekend, it was announced that MJN Colston have apparently given way without a fight. But the Sparks still face a reckoning with seven more employers, plus the dead weight of their own union bosses.

As the Cautiously Pessimistic blog stated:
"This is bigger than just the wages and conditions of one group of workers: the fundamental question here is whether or not it’s possible for a group of ordinary people to assert some kind of control over what’s going on in their lives. A victory for the electricians would be a victory for all of us who share that goal."
Here's shop steward Kenny Ward's report of a Sparks meeting in Newcastle last night, posted on the Sparks Against de-skilling and 35% Pay Cuts Facebook group:
Greetings Brothers and Sisters. Just a quick report back to say that myself, other offshore stewards and offshore members made the long journey from the Lindsey protest yesterday to the Unite rank and file meeting in Newcastle Labour club that was conducted by our brother Jimmy Warne last night. The venue was packed with furious Sparks who where able to vent their spleen on the two Unite full time officers who where in attendance.

The message from the Union fat cats was made crystal clear that after legal consideration and advice was taken from counsel your up "Shit creak without a paddle" and basically your on" your own Jack . Of course the anti trade union laws that the labour govrernment promised to repeel are being used to defend the employers actions, but hey;..we forgot about that old chestnut was the sentiment of the Unite officials. The officials took a severe verbal onslaught from the angry membership at at one point where asked to leave the room so as to regain focus on the matters in hand. After all, thay would be charged by the employers legal representatives with duplicity should they here remain in the company of the membership who where planning illegal actions toward the employers.

So here we where, organising and planning a rank and file dispute to oppose the very same laws that give the employers the right to slash jobs, terms and conditions by using the law that our own labour government failed to snuff out as promised in their manifesto for election. Ironic isnt it that whilst we marched together in solidarity with our Brothers and Sisters at Lindsey Oil, the officials where scurrying aroud in periphory trying to avoid the gaze of the protesters that they made a feeble and amature attempt to represent. After this taste of appointed union officialdom we go to Newcastle to see before us the bloated carcasses of the the union officials who have got fat off there expenses, give another amature and sole destorying performance trying to apeese the baying membership.

So a decision was made by the members to elect Jimmy Warne as Chairman of the rank and file committee and from that point a election of a protest committee was duly put into place. So it is from this point that direction and Instruction will announce for this campaign to have a structure and ultamitley beat this threat that is upon us all.

Myself and our Brothers offshore will be keeping a breast of the struggle and will be giving the support that you will need to be victorious.

Strength in Solidarity

Kenny Ward
Unite Senior Shop Steward
Offshore (North Sea)
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