Workers picket for union rights outside SSE headquarters in Glasgow

I was sacked on 23 December for attempting to organise my company for trade union recognition and union rights. The company, Kirby Group Engineering, was only weeks away from meeting with the Acas arbitration service and Unite, my union, to move into negotiations for recognition. This followed the firm being threatened with the statutory recognition route in the courts for unnecessarily delaying the process.

I work in the High Voltage Electrical Substation sector and the clients SSE— a multinational energy company headquartered in Perth—and Scottish Power must take some responsibility for their subcontractor firms behaving like this. On the same day I was sacked, I joined a demo of the Unite Scottish Rank and File outside SSE’s Headquarters in Hope street, Glasgow to call on them to be accountable.

The demo was a great success with SSE ordering their main entrance to be shut to not only their own employees but to other businesses sharing the building.

But this could have all been avoided had an SSE manager only agreed to come outside and meet with us to hear our concerns over this blatant union busting and blacklisting on their HV substation projects.

Unite is currently looking into the legal route for this unfair dismissal based on trade union discrimination, which is a protected characteristic under law.

The Scottish Construction Rank and File are demanding that those Kirby employees singled out and sacked be reinstated immediately and that the clients SSE and Scottish Power demand answers from Kirby Group Engineering’s chief executive without delay. We believe that Kirby stops these attacks on trade union members or else risk losing these lucrative public contracts.

The question to be answered is whether Scottish Power, SSE and Kirby Group support blacklisting of union members.

For a video of the protest go here

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