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Unions could back Wembley steel picket

UNIONS REPRESENTING sacked steel workers at Wembley stadium were this week discussing whether to make strike action at the site official following a week of picketing.

Workers have requested official support in the wake of the dismissal of 220 steel erectors last month by steelwork subcontractor Hollandia.

Those dismissed had been taken on by Hollandia following the termination by main contractor Multiplex of its steel erection contract with Cleveland Bridge in July (NCE 19/26 August).

But within days of restarting work with the new contractor the men were dismissed again.

According to the GMB union, which represents some 80 or so of the workers, the dismissal followed an row over working conditions. 'It is emphatically not a question of pay, ' said an official.

The steel erectors had understood they would be employed under the same terms as they had been when working for Cleveland.

'But it seems the terms in the contracts they had to sign were different, ' added the GMB official.

It is thought weekend working was required and redundancy terms were altered from 'last in first out' to a selection procedure based on 'attitude'.

Union Amicus, which has a similar number of members affected, said it was investigating whether to ballot on the dispute. But with other members working for other contractors on different parts of the site it said the issue was complex.

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