HTC crane drivers ballot for strike action over pay

Aaron Morby 10 years ago
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Construction sites across the country could come to a standstill if crane operators employed by a leading tower crane hirer vote for strike action. 

Construction union UCATT has sent 180 members at HTC Plant ballot papers today in a dispute over pay.

The drivers are being balloted on whether they would support strike action and industrial action short of strike action.

Crane drivers want HTC to restore pay in real terms to the levels they enjoyed before the 2008 recession.

Since 2008 crane drivers at HTC have endured several pay freezes and also had many of their allowances cut.

Despite entering into negotiations with the company, HTC has declined to table an offer which meets UCATT member’s expectations.

Industrial action would hit Kier, Lend Lease, Bam, Costain, Mace and Vinci sites around the country.

HTC is supplying cranes to several high profile projects like Crossrail, the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston and the London Bridge redevelopment.

Steve Murphy, general secretary of construction union UCATT, said: “Crane drivers are fed up. They have endured years of pay cuts and seen their pay fall in real terms. The industry is booming but their employers are not prepared to pay up.”

Murphy added: “Strike action by crane drivers will cause chaos across construction sites. HTC should return to the negotiating table with a dramatically improved offer.”

He added the dispute was likely to be the first of many involving pay rates at crane companies.

The ballot closes on Monday 27 October.

 

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