Rail engineers strike vote

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ENGINEERING staff are to be balloted for strike action at a national firm which has bases in South Yorkshire.

Trade union Unite has given notice to Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, which has depots in Chapeltown and Darnall, Sheffield, and in Doncaster, of its plan to ballot more than 1,000 members for strike action.

The union said its strike ballot, which opens next Wednesday, November 16, follows Balfour Beatty’s ‘failure’ to step back from making contractual changes which the union says will see the pay of thousands of workers cut by a third.

The ballot closes on Tuesday, November 29.

The timing of the strike days and where the action will take place will be decided by the shop stewards at a later date. Most local staff work on rail maintenance.

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said: “Perhaps the threat of strike action will bring Balfour Beatty to its senses and back to the negotiating table.”

Last year, Balfour Beatty posted pre-tax profits of £50.5 million and Ian Tyler, its chief executive, received a total pay package of £979,994, Unite said.

In a statement, the company said: “No employee will have their wages cut, electricians will earn the same rate, and mechanical and plumbing operatives will see an increase in their hourly rate.”