Industry insight: A spark's view

A SolFed member who has worked as an electrician since the late 1970s shares his experience of the electric supply industry, privatisation and trade unions.

I started an apprenticeship at 16 from school in the local electric company. It was then a nationalised industry and everyone was in one of the recognised (by the company) trade unions (a closed shop). There were many different departments and staff could move between them as workload dictated. As an apprentice I spent time in each department to give me experience of each and to hopefully decide in which one I would ultimately stay.

240 Reasons to say no to BESNA

On Wednesday evening (15 Feb) a large, vibrant and noisy protest was held by electricians and their supporters outside the Grosvenor hotel on Park Lane. The protest was part of the ongoing struggle that electricians and other JIB trades find themselves in.
Their fight is with the 7 major construction companies (known as the BESNA 7) who to increase their profits want to massively reduce the wages of the workers.
Under The Building Engineering Services National Agreement (BESNA) electricians, plumbers, welders & pipe fitters stand to loose up to £240 per week if they sign these new contracts.

Students to Sparks: Join Us!

We’ve seen cuts to education, leading to the destruction of EMA, tripled uni fees, mass redundancies and course closures. We’re now witnessing – if we fail to stand up and beat it – the virtual privatisation of education. But the government’s austerity measures are not just attacking education – pensioners, the unemployed, workers in all industries in both public and private sector are all facing massive cuts – leaving no-one spared!