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The Electrical and Plumbing Industries Union has failed in its bid to join the influential forum for unions in the engineering construction industry.It is the second time in two years that the EPIU has been blocked from joining the National Engineering Construction Committee.The move launched by the EPIU in April threatened to tear the committee apart, with officials of the rival union AEEU storming out in protest after other signatory unions said they intended to accept the application.The EPIU was established after a break away from the electricians' union EETPU after the latter split from the TUC in 1988.Last week the technical union MSF, general union GMB and transport union TGWU sent a letter to the EPIU, saying that a decision had been suspended.Engineering construction employers oppose admittance of the EPIU to the National Joint Council. But the verdict to shelve the application is seen as a political compromise among the unions.The TUC has formed a special conciliation working party to deal with grievances against the EETPU, after the successful outcome of an AEEU ballot to seek re-entry of the EETPU section.A union insider said: 'It looks like we are going to wait until the problems with the EETPU are resolved within the TUC before any move to include the EPIU is passed.' CONSTRUCTION NEWS