Action expected to affect other sites

09 woolwich station proposed station entrance on dial arch square 235997

Electricians on Balfour Beatty’s Woolwich Crossrail site are set to walk off the job again tomorrow (Wednesday) after attempts to resolve the dispute collapsed.

A spokesperson from union Unite said electricians will down tools for the fourth time this year, despite the last two strike days being cancelled to allow for peace talks.

The spokesperson added: “Strikes will be going ahead this Wednesday (7 March). The demonstrations will not be limited to the Woolwich site as Unite is going up a gear and will be targeting other Crossrail sites.”

The site has already been hit by three 24 hour strikes since the turn of the year with the dispute centring on improved pay and a finishing bonus – which is triggered when workers are laid off as the job comes to an end.

The cancelled strikes were scheduled to be held on 14 and 21 February.

Unite said it has taken the action because Balfour Beatty has refused to pay an improved second tier payment as well as the finishing bonus.

Building understands Balfour Beatty had asked to meet with the union tomorrow to discuss a new plan of action, but Unite declined the invitation.

The ongoing dispute involves 76 electricians employed by the contractor’s M&E arm, Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick, on the job.

The Woolwich station (pictured), designed by architect Weston Williamson, is the penultimate stop on the Crossrail line in the east. Services from the station are due to be up and running this December.

A spokesperson from Balfour Beatty said: “We are aware of the planned 24 hour strike action by Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick’s workforce of electricians on the Crossrail Woolwich site taking place tomorrow. 

“We are committed to resolving this dispute and to the continued progress of the project. 

“We are continuing to engage with Unite and our workforce.”