Essex concrete block company faces strike turmoil

Essex concrete block company facing strike turmoil

22 January 2018

Tarmac Building Products Ltd is set to be hit by a series of strikes when members of Britain’s largest union, Unite start a programme of industrial action next week in a dispute over cuts to pay and two tier working.

The Stanford Le Hope based company is intent on introducing inferior terms and conditions for new starters. This will create a two tier workforce as new starters will receive less pay than colleagues.

Unite and Tarmac which produces concrete breeze blocks, attended talks organised by the conciliation service Acas before Christmas that stretched into the new year. However no progress was made.

Unite which represents 100 per cent of the workforce, had already held a ballot for strike action, which produced a huge yes vote. As the talks were making no progress Unite served notice for strike action.

There will be a series of 24 hour strikes with the first scheduled for Tuesday 30 January, with further strikes on 6, 8, 20, 22 February and then on 20 and 22 March.

Unite regional officer Guy Langston said: “Unite’s members have made it totally clear they will simply not accept their terms and conditions being eroded.

“Tarmac’s plan to cut pay for new starters is the thin edge of the wedge. Our members believe that if this is unchallenged it will lead to further attacks on terms and conditions.

“Our members are only taking strike action as a last resort as a result of the company’s refusal to negotiate. Strike action will create serious disruption to Tarmac’s business but managers has brought this on themselves.”

After Unite served the notice for strike action Tarmac suggested further talks which will take place on Wednesday 24 January. However unless substantial progress is made the strikes will continue as planned.


For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.