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Recognise hard work call

Unite secures productivity bonus for Crossrail workers
Barckley Sumner, Friday, February 17th, 2017

Electricians, mechanical engineers and plumbers working on the new Whitechapel Crossrail station will receive productivity payments worth £867 a month thanks to their union Unite, the UK’s largest construction union.


Unite members at Whitechapel, who are employed under BBMV a Balfour Beatty/ Morgan Sindall/Vinci joint venture, voted overwhelmingly to accept the offer after extensive negotiations. Unite is calling on other Crossrail firms to follow suit and recognise the hard work, expertise and skill of Unite members on the project by also introducing productivity payments.


“BBMV approached Unite late in 2016 to open negotiations on a productivity scheme for our mechanical and electrical grades on the Whitechapel Crossrail station development,”  said Unite regional officer Guy Langston.


“Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall and Vinci are the only contractors on Crossrail willing to have meaningful negotiations with Unite on implementing a productivity scheme. Crossrail refused to get involved and effectively washed its hands of the whole process.


“The entire Crossrail project has been beset with problems, our members have renamed the project the ‘Hokey Cokey line’ as they continually fit out, only to remove work that has been wrongly designed,” he added. “This has contributed to low morale on what is Europe’s largest rail infrastructure project because the client Crossrail has tried to deliver the scheme on the lowest rates of pay.”


The productivity performance scheme linked to milestones is in line with the JIB national agreement and will see workers receive an uplift in their pay equating to £4.44 an hour (£867 a month), which includes a paid one hour mid-shift break, covering all grades including apprentices.


The productivity performance scheme linked to milestones will involve consultation with Unite stewards with a review of the scheme in December 2017. The workers who include electricians, HMV mechanical engineers and plumbers are involved in the fit out of the new Whitechapel Crossrail station.


Meetings are scheduled with Balfour Beatty and their sub-contractor VVB to discuss the implementation of a similar bonus at the Woolwich Arsenal site.


This deal is an opening gambit and Unite is urging all contractors on Crossrail to open talks with the union on the implementation of productivity payments for their workers.


Pic by Dr Neil Crofton ©

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