Ballot papers have this morning been sent out to thousands of engineering construction workers employed on the building and maintenance of power stations nationwide.
The unions revealed last month that they would ballot members for potential strikes following a continuing feud over pay and the recruitment of staff.
The ballot will run from today and end on 1 September. Any agreed industrial action will follow shortly after that date, trade unions have said.
GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: “The anger and frustration felt by both workers and bona fida employers in the engineering construction industry at the misuse and exploitation of migrant labour has now been boiling over for many months as witnessed on several sites across the country.
“The objective of this dispute is to eliminate discrimination, unfair treatment and exploitation in this industry of workers where ever they come from. A robust and transparent auditing process is the only way of forcing these employers to break from their bad habits. This is not a skills issue, this is not a foreign worker issue, it is about fairness and adhering to agreed standards.”
Seven sites are being balloted, including Staythorpe RWE in Nottinghamshire and Aberthaw in Wales.