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Strike threat over roads PFI contract

CONSTRUCTION union Ucatt is poised for strike action in Birmingham tomorrow (Friday) over the city council's controversial £2.2 billion plan to outsource maintenance of its roads under a PFI deal.

The union fears that terms and conditions will suffer if the council's direct labour organisation if transferred to the private sector.

Ucatt has joined unions GMB, T&G and Amicus in putting forward an alternative bid for the 25-year contract, which is being fought over by Amey, Atkins/EDF and a consortium of Laing O'Rourke, Amec and Vinci.

Workers in the DLO's highways department have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action but the stoppage was postponed while talks with the council continued.

Ucatt regional secretary Steve Murphy said: 'We hope some kind of agreement will be reached but if not we will be taking industrial action on Fr iday.'