Thanks to REEL News for this report and access to video from Friday’s direct action in Glasgow
UNITE Scottish Construction rank and file and the Blacklist Support Group were celebrating a very significant victory after a campaign of direct action forced Scottish energy giant SSE to reinstate Greig McArthur, branch secretary of the biggest construction branch in Scotland, and two of his colleagues. They were disgracefully sacked two days before Christmas for seeking trade union recognition, despite being only weeks away from an agreement. Now that recognition agreement appears to be imminent – as well as full compensation for loss of earnings.
This is a particularly important victory as it is in the high voltage sector, a key sector in moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Here’s a video clip of Greig McArthur talking about the importance of the high voltage sector to the transition to a sustainable economy
Now Greig’s branch are organising a combine to not only push for recognition and proper wages and conditions across all renewable energy sectors, but to fight for proper wages and conditions in every single electrical and mechanical sector. They are also calling on the Scottish Government to put some teeth into their “Fair Work Convention” which calls for much better employment conditions, and to put guarantees of stable, well paid direct employment into their at present very weak Just Transition policy.
In addition they calling for UNITE Scotland to step up and start organising properly with the rank and file, something which has been sadly lacking. So the rank and file also visited another site to protest the excessive use of agency staff, and to start a campaign for an above inflation pay rise which should have been started by the union months ago. This is the start of a major campaign by the branch – and the next step is to elect officers to the new combine at a meeting on Saturday January 28th, which will also be a chance to come together to share ideas about winning on all the issues mentioned above. If you’re a construction worker in Scotland and you’re not already a member of the branch, this is the time to join (details at the end of the video) – and build a powerful combine to win.