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CONSTRUCTION workers in Manchester downed tools and blocked major roads yesterday after their bosses allegedly failed to pay wages owed.
Commuters faced massive disruption after the angry workers staged a wildcat strike in Regent Road, an arterial route between Salford and Manchester.
The packing up operation continues at Regent Road - and it could run into tomorrow https://t.co/3nCiXNDHbU
— Manchester News MEN (@MENnewsdesk) March 12, 2019
The workers, who are contracted by construction firm Dawnus, parked a lorry and four large diggers on the road in protest at their pay being withheld.
A technician called Julie, who did not wish to give her surname, told the Star that she had asked workers what they were protesting against.
“They said they have not been paid, so they packed up and most of went home — simple as that,” she said.
“They said that they won’t be continuing on the work unless they got some guarantees about pay.”
When asked by the Star if she had been delayed by the traffic, she added: “It doesn’t matter to me. That road is always terrible for traffic anyway and I could call ahead to explain to my manager why I was late.
“Agencies can really take the mick with their workers sometimes, so if I have to be late so someone can look after their livelihoods, it doesn’t bother me.
“I just hope their situation gets sorted before tomorrow, though.”
The Star understands that the majority of the workers are not members of any trade union, but they have convinced workers at several other building sites to walk out in solidarity, and that another protest took place in Chester Road.
The workers moved the equipment onto an empty piece of land adjacent to Regent Road after police were called.
Local labour movement figures expressed solidarity with the protesters.
Manchester Momentum commended them, while a Salford Trades Council spokesperson said: “Construction workers are regularly not paid on time, not paid the correct amount and have money withheld.
“It’s time for construction firms and subcontractors to start treating the staff fairly.”
A Transport for Greater Manchester spokesperson said: “We are aware of the situation.
“We are advising people to check our social media channels and making sure the public are aware.”
Dawnus did not respond to requests for comment before the Star went to press.
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