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Sparks row at Wembley

NEARLY 500 sparks on the troubled Wembley stadium project are threatening further stoppages in protest over being employed through a composite company by labour agency Beaver Management Services.

The electricians, who walked off the job in a wildcat action three weeks ago, are looking to pull out of the Safe22 composite company used by BMS to pay their wages.

One source on the site told Construction News: 'BMS are charging people up to £35 a week in administration to use Safe22, and they're also taking 3 per cent of travelling expenses, which can take another £20 off your wages.' Workers on site ? who have already forced a pay rise after a walkout ? have been circulating a petition for the men to sign to indicate their intention to leave Safe22.

BMS, subcontracted to struggling electrical contractor Phoenix, is understood to be resisting the move.

A union insider said: 'BMS said that if men want to work on the job they have to use Safe, because they can't deal with 30 or 40 different companies.

'But if you've got 500 men on the job going through it, it's making more than £15,000 a week in admin fees.' A BMS spokesman said: 'Our workers sign a contract to use Safe and we take care of accountancy, holiday and sick insurance. If individuals change to another payroll company, they could pay extra.' Amicus is due to meet BMS next week for talks after last month's walkout.