HGV drivers at building materials specialists Cemex UK operations Ltd have started voting for industrial action in a pay dispute which could lead to supplies to Heathrow and infrastructure projects, such as the Mersey Gateway being disrupted, their union, Unite, warned today (Thursday 20 April).
The 74 HGV drivers, based at four depots in Rugby, Warwickshire, Tilbury, Essex, Barton-on-Humber, north Lincolnshire and Newport in South Wales, supply building materials to construction sites across the UK.
Warning of project delays if members back industrial action, Unite called on Cemex to offer a pay deal which better reflects the contribution drivers make to the business or risk a programme of industrial action through the spring and into the summer when construction sites are at their busiest.
The ballot, which runs until Thursday 4 May, comes after the drivers rejected the company’s pay offer which amounted to a pay cut in real terms. Cemex had offered the drivers a 1.6 per cent increase in pay and allowances backdated to 1 July 2016. Additionally, only a quarter of the existing location allowance would be consolidated into the agreement.
Adrian Jones, Unite national officer for road transport, said: “Members are simply not going to accept a pay offer which in real terms sees their pay fall.
“Cemex should be investing in its hardworking and dedicated workforce with a pay offer that properly reflects the important contribution our members make to the business.
“It is imperative that Cemex understands the determination of our members and produces a much improved offer to avert the need for industrial action.
“If industrial action does occur, then it will severally affect large sections of the construction industry creating shortages of building materials for key construction projects and cause serious delays.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
- 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.