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Scaffolders New Year strike call

SCAFFOLDERS are set to go on strike in the New Year if employers fail to honour their full holiday pay obligations.

The move is the first challenge to contractors from the London Scaffolders Group (LSG), which is being organised by construction union Ucatt.

Michael Dooley, Ucatt organiser, said: 'if the lads don't get holiday pay, when they get back from the break it will be the time for kicking of f.'

Mike Fitchett, president of the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation, said: 'The Construction Confederation issued advice in December 1998 and March 1999 on the Construction Industry Holiday Pay Transitional arrangements for 1999/2000.

'This complied with the Working Time Regulations and has been circulated to all our members who are covered by the Construction Industry Joint Council working rule agreement.'

The LSG held its second meeting last week. Guest speaker was Andrew McGuinness of the Dublin Scaffolders Group, which staged strikes in Ireland earlier this year.

He pinpointed four areas where Irish scaffolders won concessions from employers: pay increases;

reclassif ication of scaffolders as prof essionals; introduction of a grading structure; and pension scheme improvements.

The LSG is expected to challenge UK scaffold firms over the same issues.

It is also organising groups inside London scaffold firms, while Ucatt is also starting up scaffolders' groups in Cardif f, Liverpool and the Midlands.