pounds 70,000 workers want a bonus

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The Independent Online
THE JUBILEE Line Tube link with the Millennium Dome faces fresh disruption after electricians, already on up to pounds 70,000 a year, yesterday demanded a new "working time directive bonus" to complete the project on time.

Technicians working on what is one of Europe's biggest construction sites have demanded an extra 14 per cent for waiving their rights under European law, which came into force this month.

Management at Drake & Skull, the main mechanical and engineering contractor, prompted the demand when it circulated a letter urging individuals to sign away their rights under the directive, which lays down a 48-hour working week.

Leaders of the electricians working for the company said their members would comply with the request provided they were paid an extra day's pay for every seven worked.

The demand was rejected and now electricians - currently paid for up to 66 hours a week - are threatening to work only 48 hours.

That could further postpone completion of the line, which is the main link between central London and the Millennium Dome in Greenwich. The much-delayed line was originally due for completion last March, but is now unlikely to be in operation until this time next year, dangerously close to the 2000 festivities.