Union threatens strikes over Terminal 5 access

UK airports authoity BAA will face industrial action at the £2.6bn Terminal 5 redevelopment site at Heathrow airport unless it meets union demands for compensation to cover the journey time for workers travelling to the site.

The Amicus union claims metal and electrical workers workers have to undertake lengthy journeys and security checks, causing them to take up to 2.5 hours to get to and from work every day.

It wants the workers, employed by contractors Amec, Crown House, Balfour Kilpatrick and Hotchkiss Ductwork, to receive compensation for this, reports the Independent.

Betweem 300 and 400 metal and electrical workers are employed on the site, but this figure is set to rise to 2,000. It is estimated the extra payments could cost up to £14m.

Contractor Laing O’Rourke is understood to have already agreed to pay civil engineers, who are on lower rates, £25 a day to cover commuting time, but the contractors employing metal and electrical staff have resisted giving Amicus workers such payments.

A claim by the union will be presented to a Terminal 5 joint council meeting on Wednesday. If it is rejected, Amicus will vote on strike action.

However, a BAA spokeswoman said the union had agreed to a workplace deal, known as a major projects agreement, at the outset of the project.

“T5 does pose unique logistical challenges but these sorts of issues were clearly recognised by the union during negotiations in 2003,” she told the Independent.

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