Tunnellers working for the Bam Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty Thames Tideway Joint Venture have reportedly been laid off for two weeks without notice or pay.
Around 40 tunnellers have been told that they are not needed on the Carnwath Road site of the project for two weeks, according to media reports.
It is understood that the sprayed concrete lining work in the tunnel is suspended while de-watering around the shaft is carried out.
In response, a spokesperson for Bam Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty Thames Tideway JV said: “Due to the nature of the works at this particular site, it has been necessary to temporarily step down a small number of workers from our tunnelling sub-contractor, while depressurisation wells are installed.
“Once that work is completed, shaft excavation works will recommence in earnest.”
Workers on the site have claimed that they are not being retained on pay, but have been told to leave and return in two weeks.
It is also claimed that other workers on the site, such as nozzle men and pump operators are still receiving 50% of their salary despite being told to return in two weeks.