Wed, 23/11/2011 - 12:31

This morning the weekly protests got very lively as the rank and file electricians occupied the Grattes Brothers HQ. With only a few days left of the ballot for strike action, we gathered at 6.30 outside the gates of the building site at Kings X. Electricians and supporters leafletted the workers going in and there was a short attempt to block the gate but the police kept a pathway open so people could still go in to work. After listening to some speakers, we marched around the back of the site and blocked the access road, stopping some trucks going in. However we soon realised that this was a smokescreen and we were going for another target. We went first to the headquarters of one company but didn't manage to get in, and then headed for Grattes Brothers head office. We walked sedately until we were near but not in sight of the door, and then sprinted and managed to get through both doors. There were some keystone cops moments in the doorway when some of us got in by crawling through the managers' legs and the security were trying to push us out by tying us up in the EAN banner!  We managed to get nearly everyone in and then there were loud demands for the manager to come and hear the electricians. People spelled out the reason for the protest- cut in pay, deskilling, the blacklist- and made angry and passionate speeches. Someone read aloud a passage from a book about the 1972 Shrewsbury pickets, from their trial statement, and at some point the managers noticed that somehow there was now a large chain and padlock mysteriously wrapped around the doors from the inside. There were no arrests and the action showed clearly the anger and determination of the rank and file.