A total of 34 workers at a Merseyside firm, which refurbishes electricity supplies to residential properties, are to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over the lack of a pay rise since 2015 and also 13 proposed redundancies.
Unite, the country’s largest union, said workers at IQA Knowsley would be balloted for strike action and/or industrial action short of a strike from Monday 19 February. The ballot closes on Monday 26 February.
Unite regional officer Ross Quinn said: “Our members have not had a pay rise since April 2015, even though inflation and the cost of living have been galloping away over the last three years.
“We are fighting the proposed 13 job losses which we consider is due to managerial failure, as is the lack of a pay rise.
“The explanation for the proposed redundancies is lack of work from Scottish Power Energy Network (SPEN). However, other sub-contractors are contacting our members offering them work for SPEN.
“Our members should not be forced to lose their current employment rights and recognition by seeking work that could have been provided by IAQ. These other contractors are offering work on inferior pay, and terms and conditions.
“Our members work on and around live electric cables, so it is potentially a very dangerous job. However, we have recognition at IQA, and have Unite workplace and health and safety reps that regularly meet management to discuss safety.
“IQA is one of the main contractors locally with collective bargaining agreements and Unite safety reps. Therefore, our members are extremely concerned about what type of working environment they will face, if the redundancies take place and they have to work elsewhere.
“IQA is part of Spanish multinational Elecnor and we believe that the parent company should put pressure on the management locally to resolve these issues before this dispute escalates into industrial action.”
Notes to editors:
The company’s website says: Established in 2002, IQA now employs over 240 people across our three sites – Glasgow, Edinburgh and Liverpool. By providing a range of engineering solutions, IQA Group upgrades ageing cable, switchgear, equipment and infrastructure across Scotland and the North West of England.
In June 2012, IQA became part of Spanish multinational Elecnor which has over 12,000 employees and over 50 years’ experience.
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
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.