On 14th September 2012 28 workers including two union representatives were sacked from the Westbourne Park site of the Crossrail development in London. In addition 15 workers were laid off at the Chatham docks site of Crossrail.
The main contractor for the tunnelling operation is the Bam Ferrovial Kier (BFK) consortium. Because safety reps from the mechanical and engineering contractors EIS had raised concerns about health and safety they were removed from the site even though their contract was meant to last into 2013. Shortly after part of the tunnelling equipment collapsed at Westbourne Park.
Crossrail is the biggest construction project in Europe. It will not be completed until 2018. It is costing £18 billion, twice the cost of the Olympics. Tax avoidance is rampant among contractors building it
Pickets put up soon after turned away deliveries and on several occasions building workers have caused a traffic gridlock by blockading the major route of Oxford Street in central London. There were two quite well attended blacklist flashmob evening events – one outside the Crossrail BFK job at Tottenham Court Road Station and another of their’s adjacent to Liverpool Street station
The workers need to be reinstated. After an unofficial mass walk-out at Ratcliff-on- Soar power station involving 800 workers a sacked worker was reinstated.
BFK are trying to attack health and safety guarantees and at the same time make sure wages are kept down by stopping workers organising. The electrical engineer working for EIS was sacked because he took a photo of unsafe high voltage electrical cables.
BAM and Keir (part of the BFK Consortium) are part of the illegal blacklisting conspiracy in the Consulting Association that was exposed in 2009. This fight needs to be won. Maximum support is needed in beefing up the picket lines and the actions and providing financial support. This is an important struggle and needs the utmost solidarity.