The recent decision by Balfour Beatty Living Places to derecognize the three trade unions, GMB, Unite and Unison, who represent their staff responsible for roads maintenance, shows yet another downside of privatization.
The company has previous form as an anti-trade union employer. The construction arm of Balfour Beatty came under the spotlight of the parliamentary Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation into the unlawful practice of maintaining a blacklist to prevent trade unionists from gaining employment, often for no more than raising health and safety concerns on building sites.
Balfour Beatty Living Places gave verbal assurances during the process transferring staff from the employment of Wiltshire Council that collective union rights would be preserved, but have reneged on those promises.
Research shows that companies whose workforces have trade unions are more productive; and provide safer working environments and better terms and conditions. Even though Balfour Beatty Living Places has only had the contract for a few months, intervention by the unions has already prevented job losses, which would have impacted upon road maintenance.
The unions are doing a good job for their members at Balfour Beatty Living Places, and I fully support them