Construction workers brought part of Oxford Street to a standstill this morning in protest at the decision by construction bosses to rip up the current agreement on wages, terms and conditions.
When the protest outside a Tommy Clarke-owned construction site was pushed around by the police, the protesters took to the streets and marched down the centre of Oxford Street. An impromptu meeting was held in the road where, to loud cheers, one speaker emphasised that it was not workers from Poland or Portugal that were to blame but the greed of construction bosses.
The message did not go down so well with the police who tried to push the protest off the road, only resulting in a march back down towards the site, another meeting and calls for the electricians on the site to join the protest. There is a clear understanding on the part of the electricians that the protests need to escalate, and there were calls for next week's protest at the Tate Modern to shut the site.
Pressure is mounting on Unite to deliver the ballot they have promised, but the protesters are clear that with or without a ballot, industrial action is necessary.
A delegation from the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union was welcomed on the protest as a symbol of unity between public and private sector workers who are all facing attacks.
Join the protest next Wednesday at 6:30am outside the Tate Modern. A rank and file meeting of construction workers has been called for next Tuesday, 11th October at Conway Hall.
Kate Connelly is a writer and historian. She led school student strikes in the British anti-war movement in 2003, co-ordinated the Emily Wilding Davison Memorial Campaign in 2013 and is a leading member of Counterfire. Her book, ‘Sylvia Pankhurst: Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire‘ was published by Pluto Press last year.
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