A Southampton construction worker’s modern twist on an iconic photo may now have left his mates high and dry, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Mick Crompton convinced friends working with him on a London skyscraper to recreate the famous 1930s image of steel workers on a lunch break as they built the RCA Building at New York’s Rockefeller Center.

But the 61-year-old, from Shirley, is now worried his picture could see his friends lose their jobs after being told they are facing disciplinary action.

At 800ft up into the capital’s sky, and overlooking landmarks including the Gherkin, Guy’s Hospital and City Hall, Mick convinced 11 pals to pose on a girder on the Heron Tower’s 48th floor.

Despite appearances, the workers were all wearing safety harnesses and actually only 12ft above a floor below.

Mick told the Daily Echo: “It was always my intention to replicate the original once we got high enough.

“I’ve been a steel erector for 40 years, since I was 21, and I’ve had it on my bedroom wall for ages.

“We thought at the time we’ll wait until we get above the Gherkin and then take it, but it’s sort of slightly backfired.”

Mick took the photo in January last year but has only just shared it with the world, hoping it might be something he could sell as a poster.

And in doing so, he has inadvertently fallen foul of health and safety rules at his old firm, Yorkshire-based Severfield- Reeve Structures.

Mick, who is currently working on the new Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill in Southampton, said: “I don’t work for them anymore, and don’t suppose I ever will again now.

“Six of them do still work for the company, but they’ve got in trouble over it and the firm is threatening to sack everybody.

“I honestly don’t understand what the grief is about.

“I showed it to the boss at the time and he said it was a brilliant photo, but it doesn’t look like anyone is clipped on.

“They are all clipped to the steelwork though, they’re not stupid – it was minus ten and they’ve got their coats on over the harnesses and lanyards.

“You can see in the bottom corner of the picture the handrail of the floor below. If they were to fall or drop anything, they would have gone 12ft on to the floor below.”

Despite repeated calls from the Daily Echo, no one from Severfield-Reeve replied for a comment. The Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) declined to comment.