Shortages of construction materials are expected to lead to delays on sites throughout the industry, including major projects, after HGV drivers at Cemex UK Operations Ltd, overwhelmingly voted for industrial action in a dispute over pay.
The 82 HGV drivers who are members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, returned an 87 per cent vote in favour of strike action and action short of strike, after being offered just a 1.6 per cent increase on pay and allowances backdated to 1 July 2016.
A continuous work to rule will begin on Monday 22 May followed by an initial 24 hour strike on Friday 26 May.
Major construction projects set to be affected by the dispute include work at Heathrow and the Mersey Gateway.
The drivers, who supply construction material across the UK, are based at four depots: Rugby, Warwickshire, Tilbury, Essex, Barton-on-Humber, north Lincolnshire and Newport, south Wales.
The work to rule will include drivers: adhering to 48 hours maximum working week, adhering to 11 hours’ daily rest, adhering to 45 hour weekly rest period, no electronic proof of delivery (EPOD) on whilst driving, no unpaid training of drivers, no supervisor intervention work to be carried out by drivers on EPOD.
Adrian Jones, Unite national officer for road transport, said: “Cemex was warned that members were never going to accept a pay offer which was effectively a real terms pay cut. The overwhelming yes vote has proved this is the case.
“Cemex still has time to avert this dispute by returning to the negotiating table and making an offer which meets our members’ expectations and properly rewards them for their skills, dedication and hard work.
“If Cemex doesn’t act and this dispute goes ahead it will create chaos throughout the construction industry. Sites will swiftly run out of materials which will create delays throughout the entire project.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.
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.