Scunthorpe scaffolders protest Actavo Scunthorpe scaffolders protest Actavo. Photo: Yonas Makoni

Striking Actavo scaffolders and London community activists protested outside the Festival Supplier Awards ceremony to ensure the bosses got the message, reports Cici Washburn

The elite Hurlingham Club in south west London was the host to some unexpected guests on Thursday. Just as the toffs got busy with the fizzy to celebrate Actavo’s presentation for their scaffolding contracts at the Festival Supplier Awards ceremony, their gaze was drawn to an alternative platform outside. Peering out of their windows, champagne glasses in hand, they witnessed Unite activists from the Scunthorpe scaffolders’ strike join forces with London activists on the grounds of the Club protesting and flying union banners amid angry chants of ‘Actavo pay the rate!’

Tonight, campaigners are at the Hurlingham Club #London where @actavo_HQ is attending a swanky awards ceremony. It seems no expense is spared for the head honchos whilst striking scaffs are struggling to support their families.#PayTheRate

— United Scaffs (@UnitedScaffs) January 27, 2022

There is no place to hide for Actavo (UK) Ltd nor its biggest shareholder, billionaire Denis O’Brien, as Scunthorpe scaffolders who were on strike for 12 weeks before Christmas recommenced strike action from 26 January after securing a massive 83% yes vote in a re-ballot.

The Scunthorpe pickets are lively and the reps say morale is very high – blocking the roads and picketing other sites as well as British Steel and Actavo offices. 

Joe Rollin from the organising and leverage team at Unite said,

“Unite have committed a full resource to supporting the scaffolder strike and the industrial action and leverage style tactics will only escalate over the coming weeks. British Steel and Actavo must take responsibility and honour the national agreement. Unite’s membership across the construction sector are aware of the dispute and offering full support.” 

Join our online News from the Frontline Meeting ‘The Strikers Speak’ on Wednesday 9 February where we will have strikers from key disputes across the country including Scunthorpe scaffolder David Birchall. Register on zoom here.


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