Rugby cement plant drivers vote for strike action

Cemex NNL-150504-004804009
Cemex NNL-150504-004804009

HGV drivers at the Cemex cement plant in Rugby voted overwhelmingly to go on strike in a dispute over pay, according to union Unite.

The 82 HGV drivers who are members of Unite returned an 87 per cent vote in favour of industrial action and action short of strike.

The vote came after being offered a 1.6 per cent increase on pay and allowances backdated to July 1, 2016.

A continuous work to rule will begin on Monday, May 22, followed by an initial 24 hour strike on Friday, May 26.

Unite national officer for road transport Adrian Jones said: “Cemex was warned that members were never going to accept a pay offer which was effectively a real terms pay cut.

“The overwhelming yes vote has proved this is the case.

“Cemex still has time to avert this dispute by returning to the negotiating table and making an offer which meets our members’ expectations and properly rewards them for their skills, dedication and hard work.

“If Cemex doesn’t act and this dispute goes ahead it will create chaos throughout the construction industry.

“Sites will swiftly run out of materials which will create delays throughout the entire project.”

Unite claim the strike will lead to delays at major construction projects across the country, including work at Heathrow and the Mersey Gateway.

The drivers, who supply construction material across the UK, are based at four depots: Rugby; Tilbury, Essex; Barton-on-Humber, Lincolnshire; and Newport, south Wales.

A Cemex spokesman said: “CEMEX UK has robust contingency plans in place to manage 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 per cent 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.

“CEMEX UK continues to proactively seek positive engagement with all our drivers and UNITE.”