Strike action at the Royal Opera House has been averted after M&E contractor Balfour Kilpatrick agreed a bonus deal with electricians that will guarantee them a basic rate of £10 an hour.

The settlement, which will see a resumption of a 50-hour working week, also enables electricians to earn double-time rates on Saturday and Sunday.

However, electricians said they were still looking for a payment at the end of the project.

Balfour Kilpatrick, which is thought to be pressing the client for an extra £15m-20m to meet additional costs, had initially told electricians there was no extra money to meet their demands.

However, following talks last Friday evening, the contractor agreed to meet their demands for an increase that will put their wages on a par with those earned by Jubilee Line Extension electricians.

A spokesperson for Balfour Kilpatrick said it had reached an agreement with its workforce but declined to comment further.