Workers at council contractor Kier vote for strike action

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Workers at council contractor Kier Services have voted to strike over plans to change their pay date.

Members of construction union UCATT voted by almost three to one in favour of strike action.

Kier provides maintenance and repairs for councils and the strike would affect Harlow, Islington, North Tyneside and Stoke-on-Trent.

The company wants to change the date workers are paid from the 15th to the 28th of each month.

UCATT said its members believed the change was "a precursor to further attacks on their pay and conditions".

Kier said it was attempting to standardise its payroll process and had consulted with unions on the proposal.

'Depth of anger'

The union said 74.4% of votes in the ballot were in favour of strike action and 86.3% agreed to industrial action short of strike action.

It said 770 postal ballot papers were issued and turnout was 44.4%.

Dates for any possible strike action have not yet been determined.

Steve Murphy, UCATT general secretary, said: "I hope that Kier's management now understands the depth of anger among our workers on this issue.

"Kier and UCATT now need to negotiate a resolution to this dispute."

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Kier said: "The change is being made to align the monthly payroll process across the entire enlarged group and mirrors the procedure adopted by most comparable employers.

"Continued service delivery is a high priority for us and we are putting contingency plans in place in order to minimise any disruption to services should industrial action go ahead.

"We are committed to continuing to work with and consult the unions."

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