Union planning strike action in the New Year

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Industrial disputes in the construction and road haulage industries are set to flare in the new year, threatening strikes across the country.

Unite is currently balloting 100 oil tanker drivers employed by Wincanton for industrial action in a row over pay, terms and conditions, with the result due on January 11. Meanwhile, the union will re-ballot its members at construction giant Balfour Beatty Engineering Services for strikes in a long-running dispute over skills, pay and conditions.

The union has accused seven major contractors of “ripping up” long established agreements and has warned that workers at other firms could be balloted.

Balfour Beatty workers voted in favour of industrial action but the company successfully challenged the ballot, so the union is pressing ahead with a new one in 2012. The employers deny claims that they are “de-skilling” the industry or that workers face big pay cuts.