Unions to vet new Paddington Crossrail electrical firm

Aaron Morby 5 years ago
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The replacement trade electrical contractor being brought in to get back on track Skanska/Costain’s Paddington Station Crossrail contract has agreed to be vetted by union Unite.

Skanska’s in-house M&E contractor SRW Engineering Services is overhauling its management and delivery systems after Crossrail suspended further electrical work on the station this week.

The project has fallen seriously behind schedule and work is now being replanned as part of a shake-up of the contractor’s quality management systems.

SRM is planning to replace four labour agencies it uses with a new trade contractor Emico.

Emico will use its own PAYE labour and subcontract parts to labour agency Site Operative Solutions on a lump sum basis in support.

But the move has raised union concerns that the agency may not be fully compliant with the national JIB agreement.

Bernard McAulay, national officer of union, said: “I can confirm that an audit for full JIB compliance, will take place by agreement of the company.

“This will include grading, full holiday, sick pay and pension entitlements.”

Emico, run by former MF Kent and MJ Quinn engineers, is expected to start work at Crossrail’s Paddington station project in the New Year.

Three years ago SRW enlisted a specialist electrical firm VVB to help deliver the work. But the two firms soon parted company on the job and SRW turned to dealing direct with agency labour.

The problems have come at a sensitive time for Crossrail. Construction union Unite is already undertaking a consultative ballot to test whether electricians would be prepared to take industrial action is pursuit of second tier payments.

Unions are arguing that bonus payments are needed to deliver productivity gains on the M&E work.

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