The number of sacked workers picketing the Wembley national stadium site is expected to soar now that the dispute is official.

Geoff Caley, 59, a steel erector picketing at the site, said: “There’s talk of a national stoppage going ahead at all sites covered by the unions.”

Mick Lewis, 35, said he had travelled from Swansea to join the picket. He said: “There are people from all over the place; as the dispute continues, there will be more.”

Caley said that the pickets were ready to use aggressive tactics to prevent access to the site. He said: “We won’t be letting anyone through. It could end up like the miners’ strike. I’m not joking.”

“We’re not going anywhere,” said Barry Beech, 49. “As I understand it, our strike will be funded by unions and site donations from up and down the country.

“With that kind of backing, we’ll be here for as long as it takes for our unfair dismissal to be acknowledged.”

It could end up like the miners' strike. I'm not joking

Geoff Caley, right, picket

The sacked workers were unanimous as to where the blame for the dispute lay.

Tony Taylor, 55, said: “It’s Multiplex and Hollandia-Fast Track [an employment agency] we’re demonstrating against, definitely not Cleveland Bridge. They weren’t the cause of this.”

Taylor was angry at the treatment the steel workers had received when their employment was transferred to Hollandia-Fast Track. The workers were dismissed after they said they wanted the same conditions from Hollandia-Fast Track that they had received from Cleveland Bridge.

Taylor said: “More than 200 workers were unlawfully sacked. That has to be recognised.”