HGV drivers 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.
The 74 HGV drivers, based at four depots in Rugby, Warwickshire, Tilbury, Essex, Barton-on-Humber, north Lincolnshire and Newport in South Wales will be balloted for a programme of industrial action through the spring and into the summer
Warning of project delays if drivers back industrial action, Unite called on Cemex to offer a pay deal which better reflects the contribution drivers make to the business.
Cemex offered the drivers a 1.6% increase in pay and allowances backdated to 1 July 2016.
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.
“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.”
A Cemex spokesperson said: “CEMEX UK very much regrets that Unite has called a ballot of HGV cement tanker drivers delivering bulk cement, based at a number of our cement supply depots, seeking approval for industrial action.
“CEMEX UK has a robust contingency in place should our HGV cement tanker drivers resort to any industrial action, and we will ensure a continued supply of bulk cement to all of our customers.
“Supply of all other CEMEX UK products is not affected by this ballot.
“The offer made to our HGV cement tanker drivers, representing fewer than two and a half percent of the CEMEX UK workforce, is the same as that already in place for the rest of our 3,000 UK employees and relates to the pay increase awarded for last year (2016).
“CEMEX UK always seeks to proactively engage with all our drivers and Unite.”