Carmarthenshire workers vote in favour of gritting strike

Gritting the roads Image copyright PA
Image caption GMB is warning of a "blanket ban on winter gritting duties"

Staff working to grit roads in a Welsh county have voted to take strike action.

More than 75% of GMB union members working for Carmarthenshire council highways department voted in favour of industrial action.

The union said the vote followed a long-running dispute between unions and the council over rates of pay for staff carrying out winter gritting duties.

The authority said discussions with three trade unions were continuing.

GMB said results were expected from members in other unions on the strike action which could mean "a blanket ban on winter gritting duties" causing roads across south Wales to "grind to a halt in the new year."

The union said Carmarthenshire had "some of the worst terms and conditions" for gritting staff.

A total of just over 80 workers could strike if all three unions backed industrial action.

Peter Hill, GMB regional organiser said: "We've negotiated in good faith since last Christmas and yet here we are one year later without being any closer to a deal.

"Carmarthenshire County council now needs to put forward a serious and fair deal or we could end up risking travel chaos in the new year."

Stephen Pilliner, head of highways and transport at the council said: "We have been in discussions with trades unions regarding winter maintenance, and they have formally notified us of their intention to ballot members.

"This ballot is currently under way. We will discuss the outcome of the ballot with the trades unions once this is known."

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