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CNT: 29S -The struggle is in the street, towards a general strike!

Translation of a Spanish statement building for a general strike. See below for the original text.

Various union organisations and social movements release a schedule of joint mobilisations leading towards a general strike

Throughout summer, various union organisations across the federalist sphere – such as the CGT, CNT, COBAS, CSC and Solidaridad Obrera – have held various meetings in order to put into motion a mobilised response, based on the unity of action and class, towards the end of a General Strike against the cuts and loss of rights put in place by both the government and European institutions and upon the orders of the bosses and the markets.

Electricians occupy site in Farringdon

Today at 7.30 am electricians briefly occupied a building site in protest at attempts to cut their pay and conditions.

The conflict is because the “Big 8” of construction employers want to withdraw from the JIB (Joint Industry Board) agreement on pay, grading and seniority. They want to bring in new grades of semi­skilled electricians earning £10.50 and £14 an hour instead of the current hourly JIB rate of £16.25.  The protests against this change have been going on for several weeks now all across the country. Last week at the Olympic site workers blocked the site entrance for some time but, as the site is so huge, the management just moved people coming in to work to a different gate, so the protesters blocked the main road near the site for twenty minutes. The demo today was bigger, maybe 250- 300 people, and started out next to Farringdon Station.

Guildhall cleaners protest

 Guildhall cleaners and their supporters, including SF members, held a 5.30am protest yesterday after a union rep was suspended. Sodexho, a company with interests in private prisons and detention centres, took over the cleaning contract on Monday. On Wednesday they suspended the union rep. At one point management even tried to lock him in a room.

The protest was loud and defiant and management called the police three times to try and stop us from using drums and megaphones.  Passers by were sympathetic with one person commenting that the cleaners in her building had also had problems with being paid late.  She took leaflets to give them.

International IWA Campaign in support of the Visteon workers in Spain

A successful international campaign took place on August 19th, in solidarity with the workers at the Ford Visteon plant in Cadiz (Spain). The workers are facing the threat of imminent closure of the factory, thus leaving more than 450 people unemployed.   Meanwhile, once again, we are reminded how multinationals can do and undo at will and with full impunity, even if it means leaving many families without a livelihood, as well as greatly affecting both the region and the sector because of the direct and indirect jobs that will be lost.

Shard: Full report

Today at the Shard site near London Bridge, around 200 site electricians protested against an attack by employers on their pay and conditions. The “Big Eight” of construction employers want to withdraw from the JIB (Joint Industry Board) agreement on pay, grading and seniority. They want to bring in new grades of semi­skilled electricians earning £10.50 and £14 an hour instead of the current hourly JIB rate of £16.25. It would also get rid of seniority, making it easier for employers to pick and choose who works on site.

As the recession has affected the building industry especially badly, the employers think this is a good time to take on the electricians, who are one of the strongest groups of workers in the building industry. If they win then they will attack pay and conditions across the board in construction.

Shard demo: Pics and an interview with the organiser

Solfed members were present at the Shard building site in King's Cross, London at silly-o-clock in the morning (well, 6.30am) to lend a bit of solidarity to electricians. Workers across the country are facing a concerted attempt from the "big eight" construction companies, Bailey Building Services, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, Tommy Clarke, Crown House Technologies, Gratte Brothers, MJN Colston, SES and SPIE Matthew Hall, to knock 35% off wages in the industry.

Below are pictures from early on (it later grew to about 200 people) and a short interview with protest organiser Alan Keayes, full report to follow! For more information and updates, you can check the campaign blog: http://jibelectrician.blogspot.com.

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