Hertfordshire highway workers vote for strike action
PUBLISHED: 17:52 02 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:52 02 September 2019
Unite said 93 per cent of its workers are "angry" with Ringway Infrastructure Services, which runs the highways maintenance contract on behalf of Herts County Council.
The largest union in the UK claims Ringway is forcing workers - based at depots including Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and South Mimms - to sign new contracts which could see them lose up to £12,000 per year.
Unite also believes workers are being forced into the new contracts that would see workers being fired and then rehired on inferior terms.
"This massive vote in favour of strike action is a very powerful message from our members over this unprecedented attack on their pay and employment conditions," said Unite's regional officer Richard Gates.
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"We have now reached a fork in the road - either the hardline bosses back down on this proposal, or Unite will prepare for strike action on behalf of our members who stand to lose up to £12,000-a-year in their income.
"This is a hardworking group of workers who do an essential job in maintaining the roads in Hertfordshire in all weathers and should not be treated in this despicable fashion."
Ringway has not responded to the these claims directly, but a spokesman said: "We are fully consulting with all elected representatives of recognised unions, representatives from our employees who are not currently members of unions, and individuals and all consultation is being undertaken in line with accepted processes."
The 57 workers, who are employed by Ringway Infrastructure Services, are the ones calling for industrial action.
There has been no move to have a formal strike so far, but a spokesman for Unite said if Ringway does not reconsider plans strike dates could be announced. If strike action take place it could stop planned roadworks in Baldock, Hatfield, Harpenden, Letchworth, Potters Bar, Royston, St Albans and Welwyn Garden City.
To find out where upcoming roadworks are scheduled visit hertfordshire.gov.uk/roadworks.