Building worker's leader Michael Dooley writes in Morning Star about growing resistance to the employers offensive against hard fought for and long established Agreement.

A group of up to 200 electricians have organised demonstrations outside high-profile London construction projects highlighting their anger at the proposal made by electrical contractors to form a new industry agreement which could undermine the existing terms under the current industry agreement.

This activity has spread to Newcastle and Manchester where electricians have organised their own demonstrations on Facebook.

Given the current economic climate, the difficulties in co-ordinating the activity and the threat of the blacklist, the sparks' unexpected furious reaction should be supported and encouraged.
The Joint Industry Board (JIB) currently governs the terms between unions and electrical employers.
The agreement dating from 1968 may be in need of updating, but a group of eight contractors have decided to break away and form their own industry agreement which could deskill electricians, reduce apprenticeships, abolish the disputes procedure and further reduce well-established sound industrial practice.
It is no coincidence that the companies involved are notorious blacklisters named by the information commissioner as clients of convicted criminal Ian Kerr who ran blacklisting group the Consulting Association.
Blacklisting companies that wish to maintain a respectable face and point to their ongoing relationships with trade unions in the construction industry to legitimise themselves will no doubt be embarrassed by the sparks' action, if indeed such companies know what embarrassment is.
Dave Smith from the Blacklist Support Group won the first round of his claim only last week under the Human Rights Act. He was blacklisted in 1994 when he was a Ucatt safety representative.
Smith's widely publicised victory - he brought the claim himself - means that the issue of blacklisting is not far from the minds of site workers.
Regardless of this it has not deterred many electricians from being publicly involved in the fight to maintain their current terms and conditions.
So what has made the sparks different, or is it that there is still a spirit of resistance among construction workers which only needs rekindling?
Excuses for low union activity in the construction industry are readily churned out - casualisation, anti-trade union laws and workers' apathy - but sections of the workforce can mobilise and when they do they should be encouraged.
Resistance is rarely futile. The experience of struggle is an education second to none. It cannot be taught in a trade union education centre but can only be realised through active participation.
Therefore we should not wait until the workforce awakens. As trade unionists should be out there rousing them.
Many of the sparks on these demonstrations have never seen organised workers mobilised in this way. The demonstrations are short of industrial action but come close to encouraging it, so, when and if a ballot is announced, they will be ready to take part in official activity.
Building employers appear to understand the potential strength of organised labour better than we do and take as many necessary precautions such as blacklisting to retard that potential.
Historically, building workers have been awakened and still have the potential to gain advances for themselves and for the working class.
The potential for economic damage to employers by a small group within the industry such as the sparks gives the group bargaining power beyond their numbers.
Electrical contractors are aware of this and are taking advantage of the economic climate to dissipate that potential even before it has seriously been realised. However, they may have disturbed a hornets' nest from which they will have difficulty recovering.
In addition, a victory for the sparks can only encourage other groups in the building industry to follow suit.
Cynics will say that this is not the Paris Commune, but the commune did not materialise out of thin air. Working-class resistance must start somewhere and, if guided and directed, the outcome may be variable, but the act of resistance is never forgotten or easily dismissed.
The determined activities of a small well-organised group at a volatile moment in history can make a difference. The sparks' resistance has taken on a life of its own and will be best served by trade unionists actively inflaming the situation rather than waiting to see what happens.
When James Connolly was asked in 1916 if it was the right time to rise up, he said that there was never a "right time."
This is why we must fight the blacklisters and support the sparks now.
Michael Dooley is a blacklisted building worker and a member of the Blacklisted Workers Support Group. He is a bricklayer and Ucatt member.