Highway maintenance workers on the M25 motorway are being balloted for strike action over a pay dispute.
Members of the Unite union employed by Connect Plus Services, who work on the M25, are considering strike action after their parent company Balfour Beatty stepped in to block a pay deal.
Unite secured union recognition at Connect Plus Services, a joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Egis, in 2019 and negotiated a two-year pay deal with the local management, beginning in 2020 and worth 6.25% plus a £500 bonus for every worker.
However, according to Unite, the pay deal was then vetoed by senior management at Balfour Beatty, who ruled that it was above what other workers in the company would receive and that Connect Plus management did not have the authority to negotiate pay.
Unite began balloting its members on Friday 27th December and voting closes on Monday 13th January 2020. Strike action could then begin towards the end of January, the union said.
This could impact on gritting in cold weather to ensure the motorway remains ice free and safe for drivers. Unite regional officer Malcolm Bonnett said: “Our members are angry and frustrated that a pay deal that has been correctly negotiated and agreed in good faith has been vetoed”.
“If strike action does take place then it will inevitably cause chaos for drivers using the M25 and could potentially result in gridlock affecting London and the South East of England”.
It is felt that this dispute is entirely of Balfour Beatty’s making and that they could easily resolve the dispute by honouring the pay deal which was previously agreed.