Just to set the record straight around the below article from the employers mouthpiece Construction Enquirer, there was no agreement on this deal.
The negotiating team only agreed to bring the offer back to the shop stewards committee for their thoughts and opinions on what was on the table. This is the way our union operates now with full transparency and full lay member involvement. It's not back in the days where sweetheart deals were struck between bent union officials and the employers! The unanimous feeling from the committee was that this was another attempt at de-skilling the industry. What we want is direct employment for those currently working in the industry whom at the moment are forced into working through parasite agencies and dodgy payroll and umbrella companies.
This is down the employers continuous breach of rule 17 of the JIB rule book on the use of agency labour which is supposed to be used as a top up to direct labour and should never outnumber those directly employed by a company, but as we know there are construction jobs up and down the country where agency labour is on from day one and is the norm, where it should be that direct employment is the norm and agency labour is used to a minimum. We need all guys forced to work for agencies through no fault of their own, taken onto direct employment and the people who can deliver this are the employers! Instead of bringing in new people industry directly employed, how about directly employing the skilled people currently working in the industry? A list of the reasons for rejection are set out in the supplementary letter that was sent out with the ballot papers.
We want proper apprenticeships for school leavers and young people, especially when youth unemployment is at an all time high. If there are issues with government funding for apprenticeships, then the employers should be working with Unite and the rank & file to pressure the UK governments into making funding available for proper skilled construction apprenticeships.
Quite clearly the employers are worried about unrest across their sites, but they have a long way to go to win the trust of a workforce that is constantly undervalued, was attacked through BESNA and has been blacklisted for decades! Time for them to cut the crap and take us seriously, and if it takes industrial action, official or unofficial and civil disobedience to once again make them understand? Then so be it!