Steelworkers on the Heathrow T5 project have staged an unofficial one-day strike in protest at redundancies on the project, writes Sarah Richardson.
Workers employed on the baggage handling area took action on Monday. They claimed that British workers had been axed by their employer, Dutch steel contractor Van der Lande, whereas Dutch labour had not.
The strike ended after union officials stepped in and repudiated it. It is understood that the redundant men will now be employed on Wembley stadium.
A source at Amicus, which represents the workers, said: “There was a strike by steel erectors at T5 who were unhappy over redundancies and the continued use of Dutch labour on the job.
“The strike has now ended as the workers from T5 will be going to Wembley.”
The incident came as negotiations continued between unions and T5 contractors, including main contractor Laing O’Rourke, over bonuses.
The dispute was begun by Amicus after complaints that steelworkers had not been offered the £1 an hour productivity bonus enjoyed by electricians. Unions including the T&G then joined the argument to demand that the bonus be extended to every worker on the site.
A T&G source said: “It looks like if anything does happen, the steelworkers will be the first to get the bonus, but we are also looking at other developments. We are awaiting a response from Laing O’Rourke.”
It is understood that main contractor Multiplex has held talks with unions at the Wembley project over bonuses attached to productivity targets known as “steelwork milestones”.
It is understood that the upshot of the meeting was that the targets would not change.