News has started spreading that there will be a National demonstration in London on the 9th November. Unite are going to be running coaches from all over the country to get electrical and mechanical workers to London for the day. The details have not been fully announced yet but it seems that each regional office will be organising coaches. When the details are announced fully I will post them up on here.
This is the big one. The cost of travel is being covered for you. All you have to do is jump on a coach and come and join us in the smoke. There are no excuses for not attending this one. It is too easy for you not to attend.
This week saw a 300% increase in the amount of articles that mention our this attack and the protests in the main stream media.
On The Guardian website there was an article by Gregor Gall. He is a professor of industrial relations at the University of Hertfordshire.
"Electricians' protests show the real 'big society' in action"
Also on The Guardian website there was an article by Seumas Milne. He is a Guardian columnist and associate editor.
Its only a small mention in an article about the 'Occupy Protests' but it shows that they do know what is going on and are keeping an eye on it.
The third mention is in an article on the BBC News website by Paul Mason, who is the Economics Editor for Newsnight. The article is about current protests and the use of masks. Only a small mention once again.
And three more write ups from other sources:
We arrived at Blackfriars Station at 6:30am with a crowd already forming. Had a quick reccy of the area and there were hardly any police there. After the 15+ riot vans full last week, we had expected same again for this week. But no, they had stayed away. Just three vans in the middle of the road outside the station. The music kicked in just before seven and then the crowds started turning up.
A group from outside St. Pauls at the Occupy London protest came over and joined us in solidarity.
Just after seven we started blocking the gates. It started with just a couple of us but the others soon got the idea and there were soon a whole group of us blocking the gates. Then the police moved in and started to attempt to move us out of the way to open the site. No chance. Two lines were formed across the entrances and by 7:30 the site was completely blocked from the front.
People tried to get in, some were even that desperate to get in that they were willing to fight. Strange mentality. Chants of 'I'd rather be a picket than a scab' rung out.
Around 7:45 a group of 50 went round the back of the site and blocked off the delivery gates. Two lorries were penned in the site and at least 7 deliveries were turned away due to the blockade.
The current phase of the job has to be finished for Christmas, otherwise Balfour Beatty will have some rather large non-completion fines to pay.
At 9:00 the group from the delivery gate rejoined the picket out front. Then finally, three hours later, the Blackfriars protest was done for another week.
From there a large group marched up to St. Pauls to join the OccupyLSX protesters and offer solidarity from the Electricians.
Next week we are back at Blackfriars Station. Wednesday 26th October 7:00am
From Manchester Rank And File
Dozens of electricians protested again in Manchester this morning at the NG Baileys town hall site. The protest was buoyed by news of the 9th November day of action, and that Unite will be balloting specific Balfour Beatty's sites. Even a limited ballot from above can give enormous impetus to this struggle from below against all the Dirty Seven.
Next week the north-west protest returns to the Balfour's Carrington paper mill site, where last week all electrical work was halted for a day. Since then, we've heard that three workers have been dismissed. Rank & File activists will take a strong line against employers who victimise. But this is a chance for Unite to demonstrate its role as a massive private sector union capable of defending workers against brutal employers. Unite should put full support to next week's Carrington protest, mobilise across the north-west for the biggest possible turnout and provide union campaign resources on the day. The employers on the site are disunited, the workforce on site are supportive, there is great scope to build on last week's protest and as well as halting work, escalate the numbers on the demonstration.
Next week is Carrington paper mill, Carrington Wednesday 26th October, 6.30-9.30am
There was also a protest in Newcastle at Walkergate Medical Centre.
I have been told that a good number turned up again and they succeded in disrupting the sites morning productivity.
There is a meeting at the Newcastle Labour Club tomorrow, Friday 21st , at 7 pm.
Michael Dooley is attending as a guest speaker. He is currently running for General Secretary of UCATT.
He has attended every protest in London so far and I have had the pleasure of speaking to him on a number of occasions. He just doesn't know it. He should be a good addition to your meeting.