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Unite to reballot for strike action at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services

The Unite union has said it will re-ballot for strike action its members at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services over attacks on skills and pay.

A strike would hit key UK infrastructure projects such as power stations and Crossrail and would involve electricians, plumbers and heating and ventilating engineers, said the union.

The dispute centres around the company’s plans to make changes to around 1,600 employee contracts, which Unite argued would slash pay for most skilled workers by a third. However, BBES has previously disputed this assertion.

Unite added that it was told by BBES that employees who refuse to sign the new contract will be replaced with agency staff. The re-ballot will open on 19 January and close on 1 February and if voted in favour of, strike dates will be selected by shop stewards later.

Unite said BBES was “imposing” the changes on an “unwilling workforce”. But the company said the union should listen to the “clear message” being sent by the high percentage — 850 — of workers who had signed and returned their new contracts. It added that the reballot notifications may be flawed.


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