Strike action looming at National Grid over pay row
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government
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Workers at energy giant National Grid have voted to take industrial action in a row over pay.
Prospect said its members voted by 590 to 32 for action short of a strike in protest against a below inflation three-year offer. Members of Unite and Unison have also voted in favour of action.
Emily Boase, national officer of Prospect, said the three unions have fixed fresh talks with the company next Wednesday in a bid to resolve the dispute and avert industrial action.
"This result shows the strength of feeling among members. They are dedicated and often go beyond the call of duty to ensure a service to the public and commercial customers. They would not have voted for industrial action without very good reason. They accepted 1.3% last year but they can't afford to do it again.
"We urge National Grid to see sense and hand back some of their profits to their hard-working, loyal workforce. The company's 12% increase in pre-tax profits and 8% increase in dividends are down to the efforts of the workforce, whose contribution deserves to be recognised."
If the talks fail, any action will start later this month, but unions said workers will respond to emergencies and ensure vulnerable people are not affected.
The unions claimed a one-year increase linked to RPI inflation and have rejected an offer of 2.5%, 2.25% and 2.25% over the next three years.
Prospect has over 1,000 members in National Grid, including grid systems engineers, field engineers, gas operations engineers, office-based development engineers and managers.
Workers voted in favour of industrial action a year ago over pay but the unions pulled back after management improved their offer.
Prospect said an overtime ban would lead to power cuts, but officials said they were hoping that the ballot results will lead to an improved offer.