East Mids cement firm under strike threat
Drivers working for Stamford-based Castle Cement are set to take strike action over a ‘very unsatisfactory’ two-year pay deal offer, the Unite union has said.
Unite and the firm’s management are holding last-ditch talks in a bid to reach a settlement to avert strike action on 26-27 February.
Should the industrial action go ahead, deliveries of bulk and ready-packed cement from eight depots to customers across the UK will be hit. The company is part of the Hanson HeidelbergCement Group.
About 240 workers voted by 89 per cent for strike action and by 97 per cent for industrial action short of a strike over the two-year pay deal which would have meant a two per cent increase from 1 January this year and, for 2019, an increase on basic pay linked to the CPI (consumer price index), capped at three per cent.
The drivers will strike for one shift covering 26-27 February. They 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 affected are at: Avonmouth, Bellshill (North Lanarkshire), Birmingham, Clitheroe (Lancashire), Kings Cross (London), Middlesbrough, Mold (north Wales) and Stamford (Lincolnshire).
Unite national officer for road transport Adrian Jones 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.
“Our members regard the two-year pay deal on the table 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.
“We are holding crunch talks tomorrow with the management in a bid to reach a settlement. Unite will be entering these negotiations in a constructive fashion.”