Electricians picketed a west London Crossrail site this morning after 28 workers were sacked at the site, allegedly for raising health and safety concerns.
Rank-and-file activists blockaded the Westbourne Park entrance to the site for four hours, claiming to have stopped deliveries for the morning.
Twenty-eight sparks employed by contractor EIS were sacked last week when the firm's Crossrail contract was terminated.
Union activists claim EIS was taken off the job by the Bam Ferrovial Kier (BFK) consortium - which won the bid to build the Crossrail tunnels - after its workers raised safety concerns.
Unite safety rep Rodney Valentine was reportedly removed from the site immediately after he was elected and has been moved to different projects and suspended for weeks on end.
And shop steward Frank Morris was banned from the site after raising concerns over dangerous cables in the tunnels. He has since been placed in a site hut for 11 hours a day with no job to do in effective solitary confinement, activists claimed.
Unite construction officer Harry Cowap told the Morning Star that the attack on health and safety and unionised workers could lead to a "major catastrophe" on the site.
"Management refused to speak to me today because they felt 'under duress'," he said. "How must the men and women feel who lost their jobs?"
"It's common knowledge that they can relinquish their labour supply at a weeks' notice. In my view, a major catastrophe is just waiting to happen.
"They have terminated the EIS contract purely to remove the shop steward and safety rep."
Mr Cowap heaped praise on Mr Morris whom he described as a dedicated worker and union representative.
But Crossrail refuted Unite's claims. A spokesman said: "It is simply not true for Unite to claim that EIS workers had been laid off by Crossrail for raising safety concerns.
"A contract between our western tunnels contractor BFK and EIS ended early last week as the work they were carrying out to commission the first two tunnel boring machines had been completed with tunnelling now underway.
"Crossrail regards the safety of all those working on the Crossrail project as paramount and is committed to delivering Crossrail to the highest standards of safety at all times."
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