STAFF at a Uttoxeter quarry are being asked to support a ballot for strike action amid an industrial dispute.
GMB trade union members at the quarry off the B5030 will be among 500 people across the country asked to make a stand against Aggregate Industries, which runs the site.
The trade union claims the company has treated employees with ‘no dignity or respect’ and criticised its ‘failure to consult’ staff before making changes.
The union said the company had changed the pay date for all employees without consultation, causing ‘chaos’ and ‘potential financial hardship’ for lowpaid staff.
Aggregate Industries, however, said the financial climate meant it had no choice but to alter the pay date and claimed it had written to all staff to explain the move.
Allan Black, the GMB’s national officer for building materials, said: “GMB is in dispute with the company following a history of total disregard of our member’s right to be consulted about major changes.
“Aggregate Industries has a track record of imposing not consulting, telling not asking and, in general, treating its loyal and committed employees with no dignity or respect.
“The latest example arises from the decision of Aggregate Industries to change the pay date for its UK workforce.
“This has caused chaos and potential financial hardship for low-paid workers and could mean serious problems on issues like missed mortgage payments.
This latest issue is the last straw.” Mr Black said the company’s action was ‘highhanded and arbitrary’ and claimed GMB members had reacted ‘furiously’.
A consultative ballot will now be held, with the result announced on Monday. The outcome of this vote will determine whether the union then organises a full strike ballot.
An Aggregate Industries spokesman said: “Aggregate Industries operates in an industry which is facing severe trading conditions, with cuts in public expenditure affecting all areas of construction, particularly roads and major infrastructure projects.
“In order to try and improve and maintain its results and cash position and preserve as many jobs as possible for employees, the company has had to take several difficult steps, one of which is to delay the transfer date of salaries to its employees by a few days each month.
“The company has written personally to every employee to explain the decision.
“Decisions such as this are never popular but most employees understand the tough economic environment and appreciate the company’s efforts to continue its operations at as many sites as possible.”