Cement drivers in North Lanarkshire to join strike over ‘unsatisfactory’ pay offer

Drivers working for a Maidenhead-based cement production company are gearing up to take strike action in a dispute over pay.

Around 240 workers at Castle Cement, which is part of the Hanson HeidelbergCement Group, have voted in favour of staging industrial action later this month due to a “very unsatisfactory” two-year pay offer from their employers.

Union Unite said 89% of workers voted for strike action, with 97% voting in favour of industrial action short of a strike, as the two-year pay offer would have meant a 2% increase from 1 January this year and, for 2019, an increase on basic pay linked to the CPI (consumer price index), capped at 3%.

National Officer for Road Transport, Adrian Jones, said members regard the deal as very unsatisfactory “given the current rate of inflation and soaring cost of living”.

“The proposals also don’t reflect the strong contribution that they make to the company’s profitability,” he said.

“Our members deliver a variety of supplies to builders and companies across the UK, including Hinkley Point and Crossrail – these deliveries will be hit by this strike action and withdrawal of goodwill at the eight depots.”

The drivers will strike for one shift covering 26-27 February. In addition, drivers will also not spend overnights in their vehicles or use their cab phones between 26 February and 20 May; and they will withdraw goodwill for the same three month period i.e. no training of new or agency drivers.

The depots to be affected are at: Avonmouth, Bellshill (North Lanarkshire), Birmingham, Clitheroe (Lancashire), Kings Cross (London), Middlesbrough, Mold (north Wales) and Stamford (Lincolnshire).

Unite and the firm’s management have started holding last-ditch talks in a bid to reach a settlement to avert strike action.

Image by Flickr user Ultra7 CC-BY-2.0

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