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Anorak News | Billingsgate Protest Is Chance For Union To Flex Muscles

Billingsgate Protest Is Chance For Union To Flex Muscles

by | 3rd, August 2010

THE fish men of London’s Billingsgate Market in London are demonstrating against planned changes to the way the market is run by the City of London Corporation. Members of Unite at the historic market said they were fighting for their jobs because of proposed changes to the licensing of employees. namely the porters. Says the union:

“Licensed porters are central to the character and success of Billingsgate market. Their knowledge of the market, understanding of products, sizes and grades as well as commitment to the job make porters the life and soul of the market. The Corporation of London’s changes, if implemented, will damage how the market functions, ruin Billingsgate and destroy the market’s heritage. Unite is arguing there is absolutely no reason to suddenly change what has worked for centuries.”

Says the corporation:

“The bylaw relevant to porters, dating from 1876, permits the Superintendent to licence anyone of “good character and fitness” to be a porter. The licence is, therefore, a permit to work but does not guarantee employment, nor does it guarantee standards, which are a matter for employers. This bylaw is obsolete, out-of-date, irrelevant in modern times, and could be criticised for bureaucratically restricting freedom of employment. The future of the market is not in any way jeopardised by revoking the bylaw and removing the licensing requirement.”

In other news:

The lease on the Billingsgate complex is up in 2013 and the City Corporation is seeking a new location, possibly further out towards the M25.

Flex your union muscles and see what occurs…

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Workers stand outside Billingsgate Market in London in a demonstration against planned changes to the way the market is run.



Posted: 3rd, August 2010 | In: Money Comment | TrackBack | Permalink