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Kier workers vote in favour of strike

Trade union members working for Kier May Gurney (KMG) on the North Somerset Council recycling contract have voted to strike.

The GMB union said 90% of those taking part in a ballot which closed on 27 January backed the action - but KMG says this was only 29 GMB members out of a workforce of 173.

The GMB claims that negotiations on the salary review had been protracted for “several reasons”and the union had begun proceedings at the Central Arbitration Committee to secure some information it had been unable to obtain from Kier.

Adi Baker, GMB regional officer, said “GMB members have votes overwhelmingly to take industrial action as a last resort in this pay dispute.

“If there is no movement industrial action is inevitable which will have a significant impact on the residents of North Somerset.  I hope the company will take steps to avert this.”

A spokesperson for KMG: “We have been in active discussions with our employees and the GMB since April 2014 to try to reach a resolution, and have made repeated offers as part of that process. Most recently, we made an increased offer ranging from 1.3% to 1.8%, which was in line with the original guidance given by the GMB.

“We are disappointed to hear that 29 GMB members have voted for strike action out of our 173-strong workforce at North Somerset, because we have listened to our employees, have been keen to engage with the GMB to reach a solution, and have made, what we believe, is a fair and workable offer.

“We remain in active dialogue with the GMB and are fully committed to ongoing negotiations. If the GMB choose not to continue with negotiations and formally notify us of industrial action, we have a full contingency plan to maintain continuity of service for the communities we serve.”

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