Socialist Worker

Construction round-up

Issue No. 1995

Threat against Wembley workers

Steelworkers, scaffolders and welders at Wembley stadium were told last week they would be sacked on Tuesday of this week unless subcontracting firms were paid.

The workers affected are 100 steel erectors, 50 welders and platers and 50 scaffolders from the Amicus and GMB unions.

The row is the latest incident to affect the much delayed £750 million project.

The Wembley construction work is being carried out by Australian firm Multiplex.

Talks will be held between it and steel subcontractor Hollandia, as well as the employment agency Fast Track.

Tom Kelly of the GMB union said, “We have instructed our members to carry on working normally until we have an opportunity to resolve the matter.

“The stadium is not finished and someone will have to employ our members to finish the job.”

Amicus has also told its members to continue working while the talks continue.

However, according to a steel erector on the site, “The whole project has been mis-managed by Multiplex.

“We went on strike in September 2004 because we were sacked in a row between the bosses.

“We are seeing a repeat of the arrogance of the big companies behind the stadium.

“If we have to set up pickets to put manners on these people again, then we will.”

Victory for action in Cottam

Construction workers at Cottam power station, near Nottingham, have gone back to work after winning a victory over management.

The unofficial strike by around 50 workers at Cottam power station against the exploitation of migrant workers began at the end of February.

Workers walked out after they discovered that the subcontractor SFL was employing Hungarian and Romanian workers on worse pay than British workers. Nineteen British workers were then sacked, but other workers stayed out in solidarity.

Bernard McAuley, an Amicus union official, told Socialist Worker, “We have won a significant victory and made significant progress.

“This is the first time we have gone forward on wage transparency and stopping exploitation. This is down to the five week dispute.

“Some Hungarian workers have been reimbursed for the underpayment of their wages.

“There is a summary dismissal panel in the coming weeks for one of the key Hungarian workers, Barnabas Bito.

“The British workers have gone back with everything they wanted, including pay and the reinstatement of their start dates.”

Matthew Cookson

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Article information

Sat 8 Apr 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1995
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