The multi-billion pound Crossrail development is set for further delays as Unite, the UK’s construction union, has announced further strikes on the Woolwich section of the project, in an escalating dispute over the non-payment of industry standard project completion payments.
The dispute involves 80 electricians who are employed by Balfour Beatty.
Unite has announced four new 24 hour strike dates throughout February. The four strikes will take place on 7, 14, 21 and 28 of next month. Each strike will begin at 06:00 with picket lines in place.
An initial 24 hour strike was held last week (Wednesday 10 January). This was the first time industrial action had occurred on Crossrail, causing widespread disruption at the Woolwich site and on other related sections of the project.
The dispute is a result of workers seeking an improved second tier payment and a four week finishing bonus (which is payable when workers are made redundant).
Unite regional officer Guy Langston said: “Our members are simply seeking payments which are standard practice in the industry on this type of project and which ensure that workers do not suffer financial losses when they are made redundant as the project reaches completion.
“A single day’s strike has already created delays on the project and increased industrial action will create widespread disruption throughout Crossrail.
As a consequence of the initial 24 hour strike Balfour Beatty has now agreed to meet Unite this Friday (19 January) about the dispute.
Notes to editors:
A finishing bonus is standard practice on comparable major projects. It allows workers to give notice on their lodging, without suffering financial loss. All the electricians employed at Woolwich live outside London and have had to arrange temporary accommodation while employed on Crossrail.
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.