Mega powerful USA union, the Teamsters, were involved; nationally UNITE the union was involved; and all around the country rank and file sparks and construction workers were out picketing any company that had anything to do with the Building Engineering Services National Agreement, or BESNA, which would have forced down workers' wages and led to re-skilling in the industry.
In Salford this week, members of UNITE picketed NG Bailey's offices on Ordsall Lane, and the new Morrisons store on Trafford Road. NG Bailey was one of the so-called `dirty seven' companies that tried to impose BESNA, while Morrisons used NG Bailey for all its maintenance contracts.
Of the seven, giant construction company Balfour Beatty withdraw from BESNA first, following pressure from US union, the Teamsters, and this week the other companies - NG Bailey Building Services, Crown House Technologies, Gratte Brothers, Spie Matthew Hall, Shepherd Engineering Services and T. Clarke Plc – also climbed down.
Their representative organisation, the Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association, or HVCA, stated…
"In consultation with the remaining companies and following discussions with Unite, it has been agreed that HVCA will withdraw its proposal for the Building Engineering Services National Agreement (BESNA).
"As a result of today's decision by HVCA, Unite has agreed not to pursue further industrial action or protests against the BESNA companies" it added "HVCA, supported by its member companies, will now engage in high-level talks with Unite within an agreed timeline, with the aim of creating new proposals and ensuring agreed terms are honoured."
Welcoming the news, Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said: "This is a welcome move and is down to the resolve of hard working construction workers. Disruption in the construction industry is in nobody's interest. We look forward to talking seriously about how we can secure livelihoods and bring stability to the construction industry."
See previous Salford Star article on BESNA – click here