Union warns of potential construction site 'chaos' after crane drivers reject pay offer

Unite the union has warned of a potential ‘summer of chaos’ on construction sites after it claimed that dozens of drivers at the UK’s largest tower crane operator unanimously rejected a pay offer.

Unite claimed that over 50 tower crane drivers at HTC Wolffkran – which is currently operating on Tottenham Hotspur’s new football stadium – rejected a “derisory” 3% pay offer at a mass meeting on 21st March, after the company posted a 46% rise in gross profits in its latest accounts on Companies House.

Unite has now revealed it will conduct a consultative ballot of their entire membership and expect to begin a full industrial action ballot in the summer, unless the company significantly improves its pay offer.

Jerry Swain, acting national officer for construction at Unite, said: “Workers are demanding an offer based on the company’s ability to pay.

“There is no way members will accept an offer which sees their standard of living effectively cut through rising inflation when HTC’s coffers are bulging.”

HTC Wolffkran is currently working on major projects, including the BBC TV Centre regeneration at White City and the new Goldman Sachs HQ in Farringdon.

Unite warned that the strategic nature of tower cranes means that industrial action could result in much of the work on site grinding to a halt.

Jerry added: “If the company fails to significantly improve its pay offer, then Unite members will not shy away from causing major industrial disruption, with high-profile construction sites being targeted.”

HTC Wolffkran has been approached for comment.

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