Up to 200 electricians working on the new £500 million Everton FC stadium in Liverpool are in dispute over pay and overtime rates. The skilled workers at the Bramley Moore Dock site are angry because they feel that they are being disadvantaged compared to the other trades on the 1,200-strong site. “We want parity with everyone else,” said a worker.
The main contractor is Laing O’Rourke, but the electrical work is being subbed out (sub-contracted out), with the electricians on a self-employed basis rather than directly employed. This means that they miss out on basics such as sick pay, redundancy and other union-agreed ‘JIB’ terms and conditions.
One of the main issues is that they only get single time for working overtime. Workers report that the job is a non-union site. Laing O’Rourke was one of the construction companies which were taken on in the courts by blacklisted workers and Unite the Union, leading to a settlement in 2016.
A worker, Michael Jones, an Everton supporter, tragically died on the site last August. Everton fans paid a touching tribute to Michael and his family at the team’s next home match.
But this hasn’t stopped the electricians fighting for their demands. The Liverpool Echo reports that: “Electricians working on the Bramley Moore Dock stadium site walked off site yesterday (24 January) ‘after working their legal hours’ due to what they said were issues over pay and working overtime.”
The electricians walked off again on 26 January at 12.30pm, at the end of their scheduled hours. They left the site at the same time as workers from the other electrical firm, half an hour earlier than normal.
Everton fans will be furious that these practices are going on at their new stadium. They call their team the ‘Peoples Club’ and would demand that the workers, many of whom come from the local area, be treated properly. The rest of the Merseyside trade union movement, and construction workers across the country, will be supporting any action that the workers take.