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Balfour Beatty Wiltshire Protest

Monday, May 12, 2014

Protest At Wiltshire Council On Tuesday 13th May Over Balfour Beatty Refusal To Recognize GMB For 300 Workers On Council Contract

Councillors will be asked to support motion by Councillor Jeff Osborn as Balfour Beatty has anti- union form being one of the biggest blacklisters says GMB.

GMB are staging a protest on Tuesday 13th May outside Wiltshire Council calling on Balfour Beatty to respect their employee’s rights to be represented by a trade union. 

Balfour Beatty Living Places are refusing to recognise GMB on the £25m Wiltshire Council contract maintain roads, street cleaning and lighting and grass cutting across the county.

300 staff employed on the contract were TUPE transferred in June 2013 to Balfour Beatty Living Places from  Wiltshire Council and a previous contractor English Landscapes. There is a base at Churchfields Industrial Estate in Salisbury and in Wilton.

On Tuesday 13th May Independent Councillor Jeff Osborn is tabling a motion to full council which says;

“In the tendering of any future contracts provided by the council a clear condition should be made that the council will only enter into a contract with organisations that make a clear and public commitment that they fully recognise Trade Union rights for their employees and will continue to do so.”

The details of the protest at County Hall in Trowbridge are as follows:

From 10am Tuesday 13 May

Outside County Hall

Bythesea Road

Trowbridge

Wiltshire

BA14 8JN

Last week GMB wrote to National Grid asking questions on a major investigation into allegations of bullying, mis-reporting, fraud and corruption in a Gas Distribution Strategic Partnership (GDSP) covering gas mains replacement work in the West Midlands. Balfour Beatty runs the GDSP in the West Midlands and North West in a contract worth about £4 billion over duration of the contract.

Balfour Beatty were big in the blacklisting which came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists.

GMB is currently involved in talks with Balfour Beatty and seven other blacklisting companies on a Construction Workers Compensation Scheme to compensate the victims they blacklisted.

Carole Vallelley, GMB Regional Organiser, said “GMB will be handing out leaflets to councillors explaining the disgraceful anti trade union behaviour by Balfour Beatty and asking them to support this motion tabled by Councillor Jeff Osborn.

Balfour Beatty has form when it comes to being anti- union. They were one of the biggest blacklisters. The defence on blacklisting filed in the High Court last autumn by Sir Robert McAlpine shows that Balfour Beatty placed 302 workers names on the construction blacklist -  27.3% of the total identified- and refused work to 187 workers - which was 31.4% of those refused work.

Balfour Beatty went back on assurances given in pre-contract talks that collective bargaining rights would continue.  Balfour Beatty is a “middleman” working for the council and they must be told to by the council that this action is simply not acceptable.”

End

Contact: Carolle Vallelly on 07912 181476 or Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary on 07801 343839 or Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer on 07710 631351 or GMB press office on 07921 289880 or  07974 251823.

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