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Laing O'Rourke staff balloted on T5 pay deal

Unions urge 900 civils operatives to accept contractor's extra 67p per hour bonus offer

A POSTAL ballot of more than 900 Laing O'Rourke workers is being organised on the firm's latest pay offer at Heathrow's T5.

O'Rourke bosses met with national secretaries from the GMB, TGWU and Ucatt on Monday night to head off strike action due to start tomorrow (Friday).

The planned stoppage was part of a long-running bonus row at Britain's biggest building site, where civils operatives have been demanding an ext ra £1 an hour.

O'Rourke has offered an extra 67p an hour bonus payment and the leaders of the three construction unions are recommending that operatives accept the deal.

The offer depends on there being no more stoppages and O'Rourke is confident of a successful postal ballot and an end to strike action.

A site source said: 'Some of the local union officials want the offer put to a mass meeting and a show of hands but O'Rourke won't have that.

'They are worried that workers will be bullied into rejecting the deal at a site meeting but think a postal vote will come out strongly in their favour.' T5 workers staged a two-day strike before Christmas and picket lines appeared at the site.

The extra 67p offer bumps the additional bonus rate on the job up to £2.75 an hour and will be the final bonus offer for the rest of the job's duration.

An O'Rourke spokesman said: 'We have maintained an open dialogue with the unions and have always been confident that the issues at T5 could be resolved amicably.

'This one-off improvement to bonus arrangements, which is to last the duration of the T5 project, confirms that workers at T5 are some of the most productive and enjoy the best terms in the industry.

'We would expect union members to accept the recommendation of the national secretaries and agree to the new bonus offer.'

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