THOUSANDS of plumbers in Scotland and Northern Ireland will have to work on the day the rest of the nation celebrates the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
Around 4,500 plumbers and pipe fitters are being ordered in on Monday June 3 - a bank holiday.
Plumbers in England and Wales will have the day off like everyone else.
The move by the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation was confirmed last week by the Scottish & Northern Ireland Joint Industry Board for the Plumbing Industry.
It states in a notice: 'The Employer Members of the Board have decided not to grant an additional day of paid holiday on Monday June 3, 2002. Plumbing operatives will therefore be expected to work as normal on that day.'
It adds: 'Where sites have been closed and access is denied, firms will have to provide alternative work for their employees or alternatively pay normal pay for the basic hours which would have been worked.'
The decision has been condemned as tight-fisted by electrical and engineering union Amicus which held a last-ditch meeting with employers two weeks ago to try and overturn it.
The union's regional officer for plumbers in Scotland, Bobby Buirds, said: 'It's a spiteful move not to give people their holiday.
'Every other building trade in Scotland and Northern Ireland has that day off so sites will be closed.
'But they're asking plumbers to turn up for work as though it's a normal working day. It's complete madness.'
Mr Buirds said plumbers north of the border could only hope for a sympathetic employer. He said:
'There's nothing more we can do because the issue is dead and buried as far as the federation is concerned.
'Plumbers are going to have to ask their employers if they can take a public holiday off.'
Duncan Wilson, assistant secretary at the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation, said the move was largely down to costs.
He added: 'Part of the thinking is the additional expense that will be imposed on firms.'