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Friday 2nd
posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

CROSSRAIL bosses appeared on the back foot yesterday after they rescinded letters threatening workers who demonstrated against bad practices with disciplinaries.

Workers employed by contractor Balfour Beatty at the Whitechapel site had received letters summoning them to conduct hearings after they left work to attend a demonstration at Crossrail HQ last week.

The construction of the flagship new railway has been fraught with accusations of union-busting and intimidation.

After workers at Whitechapel called a meeting yesterday, they returned to the site to be told that the threat had been lifted, according to a source.

Their meeting came after 60 electricians and mechanics downed tools and occupied the canteen at the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail site on Wednesday.

Yesterday they were still out of action in protest at construction giant Laing O’Rourke’s decision to move a union shop steward off the project.

The rank-and-file Tottenham Court Road demo is not an official union action — but Laing O’Rourke bosses have reportedly turned down general union Unite’s offer to mediate.

“Crossrail need to step up and demand that Terry Wilson remains as the bona fide elected shop steward for this Crossrail station,” Unite official Guy Langston said.

“Anything less runs the risk of workers seeing the employment relations policy they agreed to as nothing more than a paper exercise.”

He added: “It is time for this industry to genuinely seek to repair the damage of blacklisting, not repeat the behaviours of the past, and recognise the importance of a genuine industrial relationship built upon respect.”

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