On Monday REEL NEWS attended an inspiring action by supporters of the Blacklist Support Group at the site of Morgan Stanley in the heart of the Canary Wharf financial district. Though in modest numbers the determination of picketers caught both the police and private security off guard. The site entrance was blocked with all 2 workers respecting the picket line. Nearby the management, their private security and the police stood around scratching their heads wondering what to do. There were scuffles at the front door when the protest moved to the main entrance. Within a few hours of the protest management capitulated.
Blacklist Support Group Press Release:
Graeme Boxall, the UNITE shop steward sacked at the Morgan Stanley HQ in Canary Wharf on Friday has been re-employed.
See link to today’s Morning Star front page headline for details:
Graeme was dismissed immediately after he requested direct employment for the electricians he represents but following a picket line this morning, negotiations took place between UNITE official Guy Langston and Lee Crompton Phoenix Managing Director. The outcome was that the sacked steward is now re-employed and the union will participate in continuing talks with the company about the direct employment issue.
Police threatened to arrest pickets and managers tried to intimidate the pickets by waving paperwork in front of them saying, “you are on private property and this is document is a High Court injunction which bans this protest”
The rank and file sparks reply was, “so what?”
Following the successful re-employment, protests have now been suspended to allow the union to negotiate the outstanding issues.
Graeme Boxall commented:
“I would like to say a massive ‘Thank You’ to all those who came down to support me today. I would especially like to thank the vast majority of construction workers on site who showed such solidarity by respecting the picket line, despite all the intimidation from the police and senior managers.
Millions of workers are being denied their basic employment rights by the use of zero hours contracts, employment agencies and umbrella scams. But we don’t have to passively accept these abuses. Today has proved that if we fight back, we can win”.
Video from Thomas Wood: