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One half of the engineering and electrical union AEEU will support construction union UCATT in its 'rightful complaints' against the other half.The extraordinary pledge from AEU section general secret

He told UCATT general secretary George Brumwell: 'We'll do everything we can to assist you in your rightful complaints in construction which have arisen from time to time.'The pledge was in remarkable contrast to Mr Laird's aggressive defence of the AEU single union deals against attacks from other unions.It was being seen as the latest product of talks between UCATT and the AEU to build a better working relationship.Last month a meeting between the two unions prompted speculation about the future of the EETPU's construction and building trades section.This prompted EETPU general secretary Paul Gallagher to pledge full support for the section, which is staffed by officials who defected from UCATT and the transport union TGWU.Mr Brumwell supported a TUC agreement under which the AEEU will hold a management congress affiliation and pledge to obey the rules if the vote goes in favour. In the meantime the EETPU will 'conduct its relations with other unions in an honourable fashion'.But he urged delegates to support the building and civil engineering national agreements, and could not resist a reference to the Vascroft dispute, which ended in the EETPU signing a single union deal.Mr Brumwell said: 'My union ended up with all our members sacked and having to face a claim for £250, 000 damages.'The AEU-TUC deal faces a severe test from a strongly worded anti-EETPU resolution due to be debated today (Thursday). The journalists union, the NUJ was under pressure to withdraw the resolution from TUC officials who feared that it would scupper the deal.But even if the agreement survives the week unscathed, inter-union conflicts are likely to increase the TUC's Bridlington priniciples in its latest employment bill.