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12May94 UK: UCATT AXES FIVE FULL-TIME OFFICERS.

By Grant Prior.Five full-time officials have been axed by construction union UCATT.And five other leaders, including three regional secretaries, are under threat.Compulsory redundancy notices were sent out last week as part of the union's cost cutting drive.And in a watershed week for UCATT, a caucus of officials was expected to attempt to remove the executive council during a three-day Rules Revision Conference, which is held every six years.Two paid officials have been axed in the eastern region, and one each in London, Northern Ireland and southern regions.The move is part of a business plan understood to be agreed with the Unity Trust Bank which calls for one quarter of UCATT's staff and paid organisers to be made redundant.Regional secretaries aged 60 and over are being approached with offers to take early retirement.One, Midlands regional secretary Lol Irwin, said: 'This is a very sensitive issue, but we have got to cut our cloth to fit.'I am totally committed to this union, but if by my going its chances of survival improve then so be it. But first I will have to see the terms offered.'The other two regional secretaries approached are Bert Smith in the north west and Tony Woods at southern.UCATT spokesman Rob Cathcart said: 'Five officials have gone. We are looking for 10 in principle but it is not clear what is happening with the other five at the moment.'The sackings come against the backdrop of the Rules Revision conference, due to finish today (Thursday) where a caucus of grass roots officials is attempting to replace the executive council (EC) with a lay body.One activist said: 'If we are looking to save costs, then a fully paid EC is certainly one luxury we can't afford.' CONSTRUCTION NEWS