British Steel scaffolders in fifth week of strike action

Scaffolders on strike at British Steel in Scunthorpe.
Scaffolders on strike at British Steel in Scunthorpe. Credit: Twitter/@UnitedScaffs

Scaffolders at British Steel in Scunthorpe have entered their fifth week of all-out strike action in a long-running pay dispute with bosses.

As previously reported over 60 scaffolders employed by Actavo walked out of the steelworks in October and took to the picket line over a long-running row over their pay.

Now into their fifth week of strike action backed by Unite the union, the scaffolders remain solid and determined in their fight for what they say should be the correct rate for the job.

The workers want to be paid in line with the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI). The rates for the scaffolders are currently 10 to 15 per cent below these rates, according to Unite.

Over the past five weeks, the scaffolders have picketed the three main gates at British Steel every day from 5.30 am till 2.30 pm. The group also held an early morning march that lead them around the site and into Scunthorpe town centre.

Scaffmag understands that a strike committee has now been set up to involve more strikers in the running of the dispute, and are considering ways to up the ante on Actavo and British Steel bosses.

According to the Socialist Newspaper, a family and friends Saturday town centre march has been suggested, and also a ‘solidarity with the Scaffs day’ to appeal to the 900 Unite members on the British Steel site to join the strikers on the picket line.

The scaffolders have gained support from other construction workers joining them on the picket lines from nearby Keadby and Drax power stations.

Alistair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party said in a post: “To win, the dispute it needs active support inside British Steel, to stop other scaffolding firms doing Actavo work, and for British Steel Unite stewards to lead from the front by standing on the picket lines and talking to their members not to cross.”