News of the plan follows last month’s disclosure by Building that Bechtel would not complete Westminster Station before the end of the year. Two weeks ago, London Underground chief executive Dennis Tunnicliffe admitted to a House of Commons select committee that the station might not open in time.
Bechtel was unavailable for comment, but an insider confirmed that the productivity proposal was being considered. The insider said that if it was accepted, it could push electricians’ earnings up by more than £400 a week to as high as £1800.
The insider said Bechtel was considering the deal because it was concerned about the damage that missing the new year’s eve deadline would have on its international reputation.
“The fact that it is the station right opposite the Houses of Parliament makes it even more embarrassing when you consider the amount of public money that has gone into the deal,” the insider said.
Jubilee Line M&E contractor Drake & Scull has cancelled a series of redundancies over the past six months because it is so keen to hit its deadline.
However, it is understood that 50-100 of the 300 electricians on the line are due to be made redundant on 19 November because the project team has accepted that the work at Westminster cannot be completed on time. The electricians have proposed the new production targets, based on a 300-strong workforce, to stop these redundancies taking place and to ensure that the Westminster work meets its December deadline.
A JLE insider said: “For the most part, what the electricians have proposed can be accommodated within the [current] production targets. But if Bechtel accepts the deal, it would result in JLE sparks sharing in more of Bechtel’s bonus than Bechtel ever imagined.”