Wednesday, November 16, 2011

John Laings demo gets a result

RMT'S STEVE HEDLEY enumerates points conceded by bosses

AFTER less than an hour demonstrating outside the offices of contractor John Laing in Victoria, central London, this morning, trade unionists achieved what looks like a good result.

Invited inside the company's Allington House headquarters to talk with a senior manager, three members of the RMT rail union re-emerged to report that the firm had now agreed to recognise the union, reinstate dismissed members, and give a reference to union rep Marciano Flora to help him fight deportation.

Laings, best known as a building contractor and developer, has expanded into services in the public sector and has the cleaning contract for London Overground rail. It was after cleaners had joined the union that management called a number of them to come in for supposed overtime on October 25, only to hand them over to UK Border Agency police for detention.
(see previous report

Marciano Flora had been in the country several years, initially working for his brother in law's firm. Since taking a job with Laing he had applied for a new work permit, and was waiting for this to come through. Police who arested him admitted they did not know why he was being detained but had instructions.

Among those supporting today's demonstration, besides RMT members. with their banners, were Unison members from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where cleaners organised in that public service union had a similar experience.

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