Construction workers are being encouraged to take direct action on site in a bid to eradicate the use of umbrella companies in the industry.

The Enquirer understands that construction union UCATT is encouraging workers to down tools as part of a new long-term campaign against umbrella companies.

It also signals a switch in tactics by the union as it prepares to merge with Unite which is known for a more aggressive industrial relations strategy.

A UCATT insider, said: “We are going for a much for more industrial campaign – this is not about protesting outside sites this is about workers taking action which will hit contractors in the pocket.

“Workers are sick and tired of paying umbrella companies and this campaign will show them that by undertaking a bit of collective action they can do something about it.”

The first action is expected on sites in London and Scotland this week.

The source added: “This is all about putting pressure on contractors and clients to stop using umbrella companies.

“There’s been a lot of talk about stamping them out and now is the time to get action going on site to make it finally happen.”