Construction firms bypassing unions to slash wages will get no business with Ken Livingstone running London, the mayoral hopeful said today.
Labour firebrand Mr Livingstone threw his weight behind striking electricians, saying bosses backing a controversial new industry agreement would miss out on lucrative Tube contracts.
The campaign pledge followed a meeting with Unite members outside the Electrical Contractors' Ball in Park Lane's swanky Grosvenor Hotel - where Mr Livingstone was a guest speaker.
The picket sought to highlight the union's scrap with the "Besna Seven:" construction contractors who are trying to jettison the longstanding Joint Industry Board agreement for a new Building Engineering Services National Agreement.
The companies say their new agreement will standardise pay and "streamline" industrial relations, but union officials say the change will impose semi-skilled pay grades and hit terms and conditions for key staff.
Mr Livingstone told the crowd he "wouldn't want a firm like that working on the London Underground.
"They must reinstate proper wages and conditions in those areas that have been casualised," he said to applause.
A spokeswoman for Mr Livingstone today confirmed the comments as a campaign promise, saying he had "made his feelings clear."
"If he is elected mayor in May he will not allow contracts to be awarded to firms that are attempting to impose one-sided changes rather than treat trade unions as partners to negotiate with," she said.
The pledge caps off a string of endorsements for the union: the US Teamsters' union warned contractors Balfour Beatty it would act in solidarity with any Unite strike, while a High Court today overturned the company's injunction barring balloting on strike action.