Electrical workers on Heathrow scheme finally strike a deal comparable to skilled building workers' agreement
Airports operator BAA has finally agreed to adopt a landmark pay deal for electricians on its Heathrow Terminal 5 project in west London.

Under the deal agreed last week, electricians are to earn in excess of £50,000 a year, will receive travel pay, and will be provided with on site health care and deluxe catering facilities.

The move comes after months of negotiations between unions and employers. Amicus, the electrician union, has been pushing for parity with skilled construction workers employed by Laing O'Rourke. BAA has been resisting because it was worried that Heathrow would set pay norms for other projects.

The Heathrow scheme is to become the first large project in the UK to adopt the pay guidelines set out in the Major Projects Agreements.

BAA construction director Andrew Wolstenholme said that the principles of the Major Projects Agreement had been adapted for the Terminal 5 site.

The investment we have made in reaching this outcome will pay dividends

Grahame Ludlow, Amec

He said: "I believe that a project of this scale and complexity will benefit from adopting this framework."

Grahame Ludlow, managing director of Amec Building Services, negotiated for M&E suppliers Crown House and Balfour Kilpatrick. He said the right operating environment for all M&E suppliers to formally sign up to the Major Projects Agreement had now been achieved.

Ludlow said: "We believe that the investment we have made in reaching this very positive outcome for Terminal 5 will pay dividends."

Paul Corby, national construction officer for Amicus, said he supported BAA's commitment to putting in place excellent facilities for all those working on the project. He added: "The agreement will deliver stability and productivity."

An industry forum chaired by Sir Michael Latham and made up of union, employer and client representatives will now decide whether the Major Projects Agreement is to be introduced on large construction schemes across the country.

Latham said that, with everyone's commitment, the pay and benefits framework offered by the agreement could help the industry in delivering major projects successfully.