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Avonmouth workers get cash carrot

STEEL erectors on the troubled Avonmouth Bridge project are being offered lucrative new year bonuses - just months after being sacked for taking tea breaks.

Subcontractor Kvaerner Cleveland Bridge is offering extra cash to stop workers leaving the job for more lucrative sites.

Kvaerner project manager Andy McGhie said: 'There is a lot of work coming off in the new year which will put a lot of pressure on the site.

'We have agreed a productivity bonus with the unions. We have been trailing it and hope to introduce it in the new year.'

The move highlights how skills shortages are hitting home on site.

In April, 50 workers were sacked for taking tea breaks before being reinstated.

One worker said: 'It wasn't so long ago we were chucked-off just for having a tea break. Now we need bonuses to keep us.'

Costain is main contractor on the job, which also involves widening the M5 between junctions 18 and 19.