A row over pay for drivers at paving group Marshalls has resulted in a ballot for strike action, which could result in disruption to supplies at Travis Perkins and Jewson.

Union Unite claimed drivers are receiving time and a third for overtime worked, while manufacturing employees there get time and a half and it is demanding fairness on the issue, particularly as chief executive Martin Coffey received a “massive hike” in his pay last year.

However, in a statement Marshalls said the union agreed last year to “take this issue off the table” during annual pay negotiations, “on the basis that it pertained to a limited group of employees”.

Unite national officer for building trades John Allott said: “We are preparing to hold an industrial action ballot on the inequality in overtime rates between the drivers and the manufacturing workforce.

“The two biggest customers of Marshalls - Travis Perkins and Jewson will be severely hit, with a big ripple effect on their own customers, if strike action goes ahead.

“We call on the company to sit down and negotiate on the issue of our members’ overtime pay, so we can reach a fair settlement.”

But Marshalls group HR director Susie Fehr said: “Late last year during the annual pay negotiation there was discussion regarding a number of other issues including this specific issue of overtime. Unite decided to take this issue off the table on the basis that it pertained to a limited group of employees.

“The result of the annual pay negotiation was that an increase of 2.5% was agreed. The company remains committed to finding an appropriate internal solution and most recently communicated with the impacted employees on 11 April and are looking forward to the ongoing dialogue.

"Marshalls is therefore disappointed that the Union has decided to preempt these discussions and has not raised this as a formal dispute.”