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Sparks demand T5 travel pay

NEWS - Terminal 5 electricians ask for £25 a day extra per employee for time spent travelling to and from the Heathrow site

ELECTRICIANS at Heathrow's T5 are demanding an extra £25 a day following a row over travelling time and clocking-on procedures at Britain's biggest building site.

Representatives from electrical and engineering union Amicus were due to meet with employers and client BAA yesterday to discuss the demands.

The call for extra cash covers the 380 M&E workers on the job. At its peak T5 will employ 2,000 electricians - leading to a potential extra wage bill of £40,000 a day.

An Amicus insider said: 'The lads are pretty fed up about this so we have decided to have a meeting and table their demand for an extra £25 a day.'

Problems have been brewing among the M&E workforce following a string of complaints about the time it takes to get to the site and changes to the clocking-on procedures.

The union source said: 'Our lot basically want to get paid from the time they get on the bus because they feel that is when they effectively start their shift for the day.

'Even if you're local to the site, living in digs, it takes more than an hour on the site buses to get to your place of work. If you live further away, the whole travelling thing becomes a nightmare because of the congestion in and around the airport.'

The sparks are also upset about their clocking-on point being moved further away from their changing rooms, which they claim eats further into their earning time.

The union source said: 'They get fare payments and a travelling allowance already but this is a separate issue.

'The civils side has negotiated a £25 daily payment so the idea is to put in for a similar flat demand for all of our lot rather than complicate everything by trying to work out extra hours owed.

'The employers and BAA don't look like backing down on this one so I can see this turning into a big issue.'

A BAA spokeswoman said: 'We are aware of a meeting taking place on Wednesday which is to discuss the location of some of the clocking facilities at T5.

'The site facilities are second to none and the arrangements for workers are in accordance with the major projects agreement / supplementary projects agreement which was agreed by all parties in December 2003.'