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Unions demonstrate in US over UK sparks dispute

An American union has written to Balfour Beatty chief executive Ian Tyler and will protest outside Parsons Brinckerhoff offices in New York today in support of UK construction workers.

Members of the Laborer’s Union, United Association and Teamsters union will be among the unions demonstrating and leafleting the head office of Balfour Beatty’s US subsidiary, Parsons Brinckerhoff.

The protest is in support of ongoing disputes between Unite and contractors who are looking to implement the new Building Engineering Services National Agreement to replace the existing JIB agreement.

The HVCA said that 88 per cent of workers have signed up to BESNA in a statement this week. There are plans by around 100 electrical contractors to stage a protest outside the ECA’s annual gala dinner tonight.

In a letter to Mr Tyler, Teamster’s president James. P. Hoffa, stated: “We have a long and shared history of solidarity with Unite and we are committed to provide the full backing of the Teamsters for the duration of the dispute.”

“If this dispute is not resolved to the satisfaction of my colleagues in the UK we will have no option but to demonstrate our support. “I am requesting in the strongest terms that you now personally intervene in this dispute and demand that the management of BBES change course.”

Unite says the move by the seven contractors will tear up “long-standing agreements covering terms and conditions for its staff and impose pay cuts of up to 35 per cent, and poorer terms and conditions for key construction staff”.

The Teamsters are being joined by members of the Laborer’s Union and the United Association.

The seven contractors currently involved are: Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Limited; N G Bailey Building Services; Crown House Technologies; Gratte Brothers; Spie Matthew Hall; Shepherd Engineering Services (SES) and T.Clarke PLC.

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