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T5 bonus talks go ahead as Ucatt drops bar

CONSTRUCTION union Ucatt has backed down from its refusal to negotiate with Laing O'Rourke's industrial relations adviser and former Ucatt leadership hopeful John Flavin in Heathrow pay talks.

Ucatt general secretary Alan Ritchie had been due to lead the negotiations of Ucatt, transport union TGWU and general union GMB with Laing O'Rourke over a £48 performance bonus being given to electricians' union Amicus on the T5 site.

Mr Ritchie last month refused talks with Mr Flavin, whom he beat to the leadership last year.

But the negotiations finally went ahead on Monday in Dartford, Kent, between the union delegation, Mr Flavin and Laing O'Rourke deputy chairman Bernard Dempsey.

Mr Flavin fell out with former general secretary George Brumwell in the 1990s over plans to merge the then financially struggling union with the TGWU.

A TGWU site source at T5 said: 'When the story of Alan Ritchie refusing to talk to John Flavin got around the site there was a lot of anger among the lads.

'At the end of the day it's up to Laing O'Rourke who they bring to the table.There are two other unions involved and this should be about representing the members' interests, not Ucatt's internal politics.'

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