Balfour Beatty facing strike ballot

Grant Prior 11 years ago
Share

Leaders of Unite are preparing to ballot more than  1,000 members at Balfour Beatty over possible industrial action.

Balfour is being targeted by the union who believe the contractor is the driving force behind eight major M&E firms looking to withdraw from the JIB pay and conditions agreement.

The latest round of site protests by rank-and-file electricians over the pull-out is due tomorrow at Balfour’s Blackfriars Station job in London.

Unite national officer, Bernard McAulay said: “We believe Balfour Beatty is the main aggressor among a group of companies trying to bully their workers into signing away their livelihoods so Unite is therefore balloting them first.

“We have warned them repeatedly that their greed will bring mayhem to an industry desperately trying to steer a path through the recession, but they refuse to listen.

“Unite has been left with no choice than to prepare for an industrial action ballot with Balfour Beatty, the ring-leader of these break-away firms.

The unanimous decision to proceed with a strike ballot was taken at a meeting of Unite shop stewards from the electrical and mechanical sector today.

The move will stun employers who want the union to stop its “negative and scaremongering” tactics and restart negotiations on their proposed new deal known as BESNA.

Blane Judd of employer trade body the Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association said: “The employers are looking to the future by seeking to modernise an old-style agreement and create something more suitable for the current construction sector.

“This recession has changed the way the sector will operate in the future and we must respond to secure jobs and develop skills to sustain employment far into the future.

“The employers, currently discussing the BESNA with their staff, are offering better wages and benefits at a time when many others are cutting back on employment.”

A Balfour statement said: “Balfour Beatty Engineering Services remain committed to the HVCA and the introduction of the Building Engineering Services National Agreement (BESNA).

“The UK construction industry is under pressure to increase efficiency, to improve productivity and to minimise costs.

“We are in the process of consulting with our workforce on the proposed introduction of the BESNA, this includes providing the opportunity for our employees to ask questions to fully understand the detail and benefits of a single agreement for BBES and the industry as a whole.

“We believe that by implementing the new agreement we will create a more modern structure, better able to respond to the market place and to safeguard employment, without eroding the terms and conditions of our employees.

“No employee will have their wages cut, electricians will earn the same rate under the BESNA and mechanical and plumbing operatives will see an increase in their hourly rate to create a level playing field.”

Latest news

Investment giant buys Bristol M&E contractor

RDCP Infrastructure acquires Avon Combined Electrical Services
3 hours ago

Demolition start for £50m Farnworth town centre rebuild

Caddick Construction is tipped for main works due to start in the spring
4 hours ago

L&G Modular strikes deal to build 1,000 affordable homes

Modular homes business teams up with Hampshire's Vivid housing association
4 hours ago

Former Erith operations director joins John F Hunt

Scott Exell named new operations director at demolition specialist John F Hunt
11 hours ago

Green light for £135m Leeds twin tower resi scheme

Construction to start in New Year on 500 build-to-rent apartments
19 hours ago

Mace hits 1m tonnes carbon saving target for clients

Present work pipeline betters 2026 carbon emission saving target
15 hours ago

Plans in for £40m surf park at former Kent colliery

Seahive surf lagoon and health resort will be built near Deal
1 day ago

Crushed demolition worker vows to return to industry

Shannon Brasier hoping to return to construction following horror accident
1 day ago

Mount Anvil to start 900-home North London estate rebuild

Planning approval paves way for Barnsbury Estate rebuild in Islington
1 day ago

Green light for major laboratory campus in Cambridge

Developer BioMed to tender first building on 600,000 sq ft lab complex in the New Year
1 day ago

Belfast firm signs the biggest work deal yet under Project Gigabit

Fibrus to hook-up rural Cumbria to lightning-fast broadband under £108m deal
1 day ago

McLaren wins Leeds logistics park contract

Work to start imminently on warehouse complex for Firethorn Trust
2 days ago

Work restarts on £683m waste power plant after site death

Construction suspended for a week of investigations following fatality
2 days ago

Demolition starts on £135m Wigan Galleries scheme

Contractor BCEGI starts work on project to redevelop Wigan town centre
2 days ago

Amey CEO to step down following private equity buyout

Amanda Fisher to leave once business is transferred to new owners
2 days ago

New body set up to vet plant operator card schemes

Contractor trades bodies unite to tackle competency concerns over plant operator skills cards
2 days ago

Kier leads switch to hybrid battery generators

Battery units work alongside smaller generators cutting run times by nearly 60%
2 days ago

Plans in for first Leeds co-living scheme

Watkin Jones submits plan to convert old Direct Line HQ into 230 studio flats
2 days ago

Demolition worker crushed by excavator

Court hears 20-year-old woman was left with "life changing injuries"
3 days ago

Government pays £700m for 50% stake in Sizewell C

New body, Great British Nuclear, will be set up to develop pipeline of nuclear projects
3 days ago

Costain wins Heathrow Airport asset renewal deal

Firm takes early contractor involvement role in Terminal 2 baggage handling upgrade
3 days ago

Worker killed on £683m waste power plant site

Fatal collision involving heavy goods vehicle on giant north London site
4 days ago

HS2 JV shifts four Wembley Stadiums of earth in record time

EKFB team digs and hauls 15 million cu m of muck in 20 months
3 days ago

Milestone wins £300m Wiltshire highways upkeep

Ringway will hand over to Milestone in March next year
3 days ago

Low-risk business model helps Renew post record results

Renew reveals latest acquisition with £15.6m purchase of water specialist Enisca
3 days ago

London Albert Embankment hotel towers approved

Two separate hotels rising to 26 and 29 storeys approved
3 days ago

Keltbray names new director of strategic engineering

Tim Lohmann takes up newly-formed role to drive innovative engineering solutions
3 days ago

Go-ahead for £200m lithium refinery on Teesside

Work to start next year on Europe's first lithium hydroxide processing plant
4 days ago

HS2 agency workers paid the wrong wages

Payroll software problems leave workers out of pocket
4 days ago

Electric car whizz joins O’Rourke

Contractor looking to learn tech lessons from other sectors
4 days ago

Contractor services