Unite the union has today (October 31) confirmed that its membership in the Roads Department at Scottish Borders Council (SBC) have voted for industrial action.
Following a two-week long industrial action ballot, Unite members by 77 per cent have voted to take strike action and by 84 per cent to take action short of a strike on a 76 per cent turnout.
The ballot result follows the decision by SBC to draft in contracted workers in breach of the collective agreement between Unite and SBC.
The union’s members previously took 24-hours industrial action on the 29th of August in opposition to detrimental changes being imposed to their terms and conditions.
Scottish Borders Council is is utilising external contractors to conduct work normally carried out by Unite members.
Unite also believes that the payments being offered by SBC to contractors based in Edinburgh are in excess of the current payments offered to Unite members in the Roads Department. Industrial action will take place during the winter season when the roads workers maintain effective transport links and services in the Borders region.
Willie Thomson, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “Rather than negotiate with Unite to settle this dispute Scottish Borders Council have chosen to ignore their workers and spend taxpayers’ money on contractors at rates higher than what our members were offered.
“Unite members have overwhelmingly voted to fight against the attacks on their terms and conditions, and to protect the long-standing collective agreements we have in place. The workers are determined to be respected by their employer and they are righty aggrieved about the injustice being imposed on them.”