[Imc-london] Feature and demo Kings cross Laing Workers Solidarity

Planet Mail planet-mail at pop3.poptel.org.uk
Mon Nov 22 01:19:52 PST 2004


hiya,

kings cross cranes occupied this morning - would make a good feature
plus there's a demo tonight if anyone wants to go and cover it
see below and post on wire

https://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/11/301614.html

Previous fronptage feature:
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/11/300648.html



>---- Forwarded message xxxx -----
>URGENT! Laing O'Rourke Workers Solidarity Action Happening NOW
>Several cranes have been occupied on the Laing O'Rourke Kings Cross
>
>Rail Link construction site, in solidarity with workers on the site
>
>who are fighting a new pay deal.
>
>action happening now. people up cranes.
>
>5pm: meet up outside kings cross station - bring sense of humour
>
>---------------------------------------
>Monday 22 November 2004, 6.00am - ACTION NOW
>
>URGENT! Laing O'Rourke Workers Solidarity Action Happening NOW
>
>ACTION TODAY: 5pm, Monday 22 November: demonstration - meet outside
>
>the front of King's Cross station. bring drums and sense of humour
>___________________________________________________
>For the online text of the leaflet see:
>http://www.wombles.org.uk/actions/laing.php
>See also http://www.indymedia.org.uk for updates
>
>Laing O'Rourke Workers Solidarity Action NOW! :: King's Cross Rail
>Link, 22nd November 2004 :: Workers Solidarity Against Bosses
>Profits
>
>Several cranes have been occupied on the Laing O'Rourke Kings Cross
>
>Rail Link construction site, in solidarity with workers on the site
>
>who are fighting a new pay deal.
>
>Why we're up there
>We're acting in solidarity with construction workers on the Laing
>O'Rourke Channel Tunnel Rail Link site in King's Cross, who are
>being forced into signing an exploitative new contract by their
>bosses. In response to this threat, they have begun to organise
>themselves without the help of union leaders. They have held mass
>meetings off-site, elected shop stewards and organised pickets and
>sit-ins.
>
>"We demand no cut in pay. We all have bills, rent, mortgages to pay
>
>- we need guaranteed money not a promise of it if the site agent
>thinks we deserve it," says (a worker) Laing workers want no
>discretionary bonus scheme, they want full holiday pay and sick
>pay, a pension scheme, redundancy pay and no forced overtime.
>
>New contract, old con tricks
>Under the new contract pay will be cut in half, management will
>decide bonuses, workers must plan a day off 40 days in advance and
>holiday pay could be cut by ⣐ per day. Some employees have
>been
>forced to sign the contract after being threatened with the sack if
>
>they refuse. Others, who barely speak English, have been pushed
>into signing a contract they do not understand.
>
>Construction union UCATT sold out workers on the site by agreeing
>to the contract without consulting them. GMB - another union that
>one-third of the workers belong to -was barred from the site in a
>breach of construction industry agreements. GMB was only admitted
>after workers staged there own direct action by sitting in on the
>site to allow them access.
>
>De-construction
>Workers at all Laing O'Rourke sites - including Canary Wharf,
>Heathrow's Terminal 5, Newham Hospital and sites in Birmingham and
>Liverpool - are faced with this new contract and potentially face
>the sack if they refuse to sign. If Laing O'Rourke get away with
>implementing these contracts, it will have huge implications for
>all construction workers - driving down wages and imposing
>conditions that put workers at greater risk. They fear that
>production bonuses and forced overtime will lead to a faster work
>pace, cut corners and exhaustion, with health and safety likely to
>suffer.
>
>In recent years, the building industry has been using a huge amount
>
>of subcontracted, casual labour. Many construction workers have
>seen an erosion of rights, job security and benefits as a result. A
>
>decline in safety standards has led to more deaths at work, with
>over a 100 deaths per year in the industry, and managements
>refusing to take responsibility - exemplified by the case of Simon
>Jones, a young temp worker sent to a job on the Brighton docks
>without any training. He died in an accident on his first day at
>work.
>
>Double-Crossed in Kings Cross?
>Local residents recently won a court order forbidding Channel
>Tunnel Rail development work 24 hours a day due to the noise and
>disruption it would cause. This is likely to cause a delay in work
>costing the contractors millions of pounds. Laing O'Rourke intends
>to claw back their massive profits by cutting workers wages.
>
>However, noise is only one problem faced by local residents. Since
>the 1980's local people have been resisting the development,
>fearing the destruction it would cause to their community. The
>Kings Cross Rail Link has already cost the area social housing -
>many council and housing association flats were pulled down to make
>
>way for the development. There is now a seven-year waiting list for
>
>council flats in the area. Most new private housing will be
>expensive and far beyond the reach of local people. The 20-year
>construction programme will lead to the area's gentrification. The
>jobs such 'regeneration' will create are likely to be part-
>time/temp jobs in shopping malls and other services - poorly-paid
>casual work for people who will no longer be able to afford to live
>
>in the newly desirable area.
>
>Flexibly Fucked Over
>What's happening in the construction industry is part of a wider
>change in the nature of work - and in our lives. There has been a
>shift from 'jobs-for-life' backed up by unions, public housing and
>a welfare state, to a condition of precarity. Precarity is
>characterised by casual, temporary, agency, part-time, freelance,
>'flexible' work - mainly in the service, construction,
>communications and information industries - badly paid and with
>little security. Our situations have all become dominated by
>insecurities and fear, undermining our abilitiies to organise and
>think for ourselves. This fear is the weapon of the multi-
>nationals, states and armies that walk this earth causing misery to
>
>billions of people in pursuit of more power and control.
>
>Solidarity is our weapon
>Our action here is an act of defiance against Laing O'Rourke, a
>show of solidarity for all those being fucked over by there
>managers, supervisors and bosses. We are joining them in their self-
>
>organised struggle for a living wage. We also fight back against
>our own situation of precarity, inside and outside of work, in
>London and across the world.
>
>For background information see the following articles on
>www.indymedia.org.uk
>http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/10/300085.html
>http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/10/300086.html
>http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/10/300087.html
>http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/10/300419.html
>http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/10/300415.html
>
>Also see:
>http://www.labournet.net/ukunion/0410/rmt1.html
>
>____________________________________________________
>
>For the online text of the leaflet see:
>http://www.wombles.org.uk/actions/laing.php
>
>See also http://www.indymedia.org.uk for updates
>
>
>WOMBLES
>http://www.wombles.org.uk/





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