Crane drivers vote overwhelmingly for strike action as construction sites face shutdown

UCATT members at HTC Plant Limited have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in a dispute over pay.

The 180 plus crane drivers had a vote of 94% in favour of strike action and 94.6% in favour of industrial action short of strike action. The turnout was in excess of 80%.

UCATT is now in consultation with its activists at the company and the exact dates and nature of the industrial action will be announced by the end of the week.

Steve Murphy, General Secretary of construction union UCATT, said; “This result is so emphatic that there is no doubt that within days key construction sites will grind to a halt.”

Sites that are set to be affected by the industrial action includes: Crossrail, the London Bridge redevelopment, Nova Square Victoria, Elephant and Castle redevelopment and the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermarston.

Major construction contractors who will be affected by the industrial action include: Kier, Lend Lease, Bam, Costain, Mace and Vinci.

Since 2008 crane drivers at HTC have experienced several pay freezes and have seen their pay plummet in real terms. UCATT had entered negotiations with HTC but the company failed to table an offer which was even close to the expectations of UCATT members.

HTC then enflamed the situation by imposing a 3% pay increase, after this offer had been decisively rejected by UCATT members.

Mr Murphy added: “HTC needs to understand that crane drivers believe that they deserve a decent pay rise and are prepared to fight to win one. The only people who can prevent construction chaos is HTC.””

Since announcing the ballot for industrial action UCATT has seen a surge in membership among crane drivers.

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