Unions hold emergency talks with employment agency BMS after it threatens workers with dismissal

Five hundred electricians on the Wembley stadium project in north-west London have been threatened with dismissal unless they work 74-hour weeks.

Employment agency Beaver Management Services issued the ultimatum after workers threatened to strike over pay. Building also understands that BMS has threatened to call police to the site to investigate allegations of intimidation.

BMS agreed an increased rate of £13.50 an hour after last week's meetings. However, it claims that under the terms of the contracts it can call on the electricians to work 12-hour days during the week, with extra working at weekends.

Building understands that BMS has written to workers ordering them to comply with the terms of this contract or face dismissal. This would mean working from 7am to 7pm during the week.

Amicus union regional officer Frank Westerman was due to meet senior managers at BMS yesterday to discuss the matter.

The decision by BMS follows a threat by workers that the firm would face industrial action if it did not pay the revised London rate for electricians, determined by the Joint Industry Board.

BMS has told workers if they do not comply they will be dismissed. It’s scandalous

Wembley siteWembley site source source

A site source said: "This is scandalous. BMS has told workers that if they do not comply with the working arrangements, they will be dismissed. It's a scandalously long week."

Site sources claim that in its letter to workers, BMS said it would call in the police to investigate allegations of intimidation between groups of agency workers on the site.

Multiplex referred inquiries about these developments to BMS, which was unavailable for comment.

Two directors of CBL, a Wembley cable company hired by BMS, who were charged with kidnap last week, have been granted bail in return for a surety of £100,000. Andrew and Lee Haygarth, who are brothers, have been ordered to surrender their passports and report to police in Hartlepool, Co Durham, three times a week.