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The Major Projects Agreement has failed

AGENDA

THERE were plenty of doubters when the Major Projects Agreement was finalised and held up as a new dawn for industrial relations in the M&E sector.

And recent events seem to be proving the doubters right - the deal has so far only been introduced on one site, despite being available for more than a year.That site is Heathrow Terminal 5, where the dream of no strikes and increased productivity in return for higher wages is gradually disintegrating.

The workers are getting their money - with many coining it in to the tune of £50,000 a year. But the site has been rocked by a series of disputes, sparking protests and walkouts.

The 500 M&E workers at T5 know they are in a powerful position and the contractors and clients are sure to face more unrest as the workforce swells to 2,000.

What can the employers do? They can hardly sack the lot and conjure up a new workforce of thousands of skilled sparks.

The same thing happened on the Jubilee Line Extension, where the workforce held the project to ransom.The MPA is designed to stop that happening again.

Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be working and the electricians are creaming off all the benefits while the employers are left with the same old disputes and a higher wage bill.

No wonder the industry is holding back from introducing the MPA on other sites.