A band of half a dozen or so union activists held up their banners and placards in the lobby of the Institution of Civil Engineers in Great George Street, Westminster.
Their protest was part of an ongoing campaign against J Murphy & Sons, amid allegations of union busting and targeting union activists for dismissal.
According to the Unite union, Murphy International sacked four employees in the Republic of Ireland last year after organising a meeting of 15 workers to discuss Murphy’s non-payment of travel and subsistence payments.
The four were suspended without pay two months and then dismissed for not showing ‘remorse’, it is alleged.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Murphy’s behaviour is deplorable and it is guilty of flagrant union busting. No reputable company should have anything to do with Murphy’s considering the manner in which it treats its workers.
“Unite will never allow such attacks on members to go unchallenged and we will leave no stone unturned until Murphy does the right thing and reinstates these workers.”
The Great George Street demonstration is just one of many that Unite has been holding across the UK and internationally to apply pressure on the company to reinstate the Murphy 4. The British Tunnelling Society meeting was targeted last night because it is an organsiation with which Murphy is very much involved.
A Murphy spokesperson said: “We categorically refute Unite’s misleading claims concerning the nature of this case. The claims regarding the reason for the dismissals and allegations of union busting are factually incorrect. Murphy International Limited acted in response to unballoted, unnotified, and therefore unlawful strike action taken by a small minority of workers at our Aughinish site in Limerick, Ireland. Murphy has had a presence on site for over 40 years, enjoying good industrial relations on the site. All its employees who work on the site are members of trade unions. The company has always indicated that it is open to resolving this matter amicably and sensibly. We remain committed to maintaining an open dialogue with all parties around this issue to try to draw a line under this matter. This matter is currently subject to legal proceedings in Ireland.”