Since early March, rank-and-file sparks (electricians) have been holding regular actions targeting construction companies Balfour Beatty and NG Bailey. The dispute started with those companies attempting to bring in workers without sufficient training to carry out electrical work on the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor, and it now looks set to spread to another part of the UK’s nuclear infrastructure.
NG Bailey management have taken a hard line throughout the dispute, refusing to settle and circulating surveillance footage of protesting workers, a move which brings back memories of Bailey’s long involvement in the blacklisting scandal. In response, sparks have begun carrying out protests and occupations targeting companies that have contracts with NG Bailey. Now, the action is set to escalate dramatically, as the national construction rank and file have formally announced their intention to take the fight to the Atomic Weapons Establishment site at Burghfield, near Reading, on Wednesday May 26th. NG Bailey are carrying out work on the site, and it seems likely that senior NG Bailey managers will have some uncomfortable conversations ahead as they explain to the Ministry of Defence exactly why one of the most sensitive and high-security sites in Britain is being disrupted by protests.
Along with the planned demo at AWE Burghfield, regular rank-and-file sparks actions continue to target Bailey and Balfour Beatty sites across the country, including in London, Manchester/Salford, Merseyside, Cardiff, Swansea, Leeds, Newcastle and Whitby, among others.
~ Cautiously Pessimistic