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MPA shows the way

COMMENT

WHILE the steel erectors are threatening Olympic chaos there is a major hope for stable industrial relations among the army of M&E workers needed for the construction programme.

Backers of the Major Projects Agreement are hoping the groundbreaking deal will be used across the London 2012 sites.

Supporters of the scheme have already held initial meetings with Olympic Delivery Authority chief executive David Higgins and are planning to sit down with new construction director Harold Shiplee when he starts in the role later this month.

The MPA was devised in 2003 but has only been used at one site - Heathrow's T5 - since then.

The agreement is designed to offer stable industrial relations and increased productivity in return for indust ry-leading salar ies of up to £55,000.

Up to July 2005 a total of one million continuous man hours were worked at T5 without the loss of any time due to industrial action.

Other sites have shied away from using the MPA because of the cost of implementing it.

One backer of the scheme said: 'Cost is obviously an issue but it looks like we are close to signing up the £1 billion redevelopment of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston to adopt the MPA.

'It is positive for the Olympics because it is a high profile job and everyone wants to make it a world class project built with as little disruption as possible.'