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Crane operators at HTC ballot for strike action in dispute over pay

Over 180 UCATT members at crane company HTC Plant Limited have been sent ballot papers today following a dispute over pay.

The crane drivers argue that the company has not been prepared to restore pay in real terms to the levels they were at before the 2008 recession.

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

According to UCATT, HTC has declined to table an offer which meets their members’ demands, despite negotiations with the company.

The union says that since 2008 crane drivers at HTC have endured several pay freezes and also had many of their allowances cut.

A potential strike could have an impact on a number of large contractors. UCATT said Kier, Lend Lease, Bam, Costain, Mace and Vinci could all be affected if the action goes ahead.

High profile projects that HTC Plant are working on include Crossrail, the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston and the London Bridge redevelopment.

Steve Murphy, general secretary of UCATT, said crane drivers were “fed up” with the “industry booming but their employers are not prepared to pay up”.

Mr 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.”

The ballot is set to close on Monday the 27th of October.

Speaking to Construction News, Dave Holder, director and general manager of HTC Plant, said: “We feel our offer is a generous one, the offer is above inflation and in line with UCATT and Amicus target awards.”

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