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Sparks strike Wembley gold

Workers paid £300 a day despite continued delays - Rates anger M&E rivals

A PAY war has broken out at Wembley, where electricians are pocketing £40 an hour to finally get the stadium finished.

Sparks on the site were paid £300 for a seven-hour shift last Saturday ? the day the FA Cup final was played in Cardiff because the job was not ready on time.

M&E workers are benefiting from an ongoing row between main contractor Multiplex and electrical subbie Phoenix.

The subbie has been scaling down its workforce after demanding cash up-front from Multiplex to finish its contract.

But the Australian firm has lost patience and is encouraging fellow electrical firm TB Worrall to boost its workforce, whatever the cost, to get the job done.

One site source said: 'Multiplex looks like it will pay Worrall what it takes, fund it by withholding money from Phoenix and contra-charging them for the extra.

'The money being chucked at sparks now is unbelievable ? it's the pay bonanza to end all pay bonanzas.

'This will cause waves in the industry and I wouldn't be surprised if Phoenix complains to the JIB, because these pay rates bust all industry agreements.' Construction News understands Worrall has 50 workers being paid a basic rate of £18 an hour. Sparks receive 16 hours pay if they work a 10.5 hour shift and the same amount if they work seven hours at weekends.

Each worker also receives £20 a day 'living allowance' and has hotel accommodation paid for as many are travelling men from near Worrall's Bristol head office.

The site source said: 'Worrall is being told to get more men on board. Phoenix has about 80 people still there but they all want to work for the other lot now because it's better money.' A Multiplex spokesman said: 'Phoenix hasn't proceeded with the works in line with its agreed contract and that will affect the money they get paid.' Worrall and Phoenix both declined to comment.