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Over 200 Hanson lorry drivers and engineers are set to vote on strike action after rejecting a 2.5% pay offer from the company on the grounds that, with inflation running at 3.9%, the offer constitutes a pay cut.

Hanson’s drivers and engineers say they are also “deeply unhappy” at what they describe as “the high handed management style” at the company and a “marked lack of dignity” at work, union Unite revealed this week.

The ballot will open on Friday 10 September and close on Friday 23 September which could see strike action begin in October.

The union is warning that any strike action by Hanson’s drivers will hit deliveries of cement to major construction projects, including Hinkley Point, HS2, Sellafield and Thames Tideway, and to building product companies such as Jewson and Marshalls.

Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: “Our members are simply not going to accept a pay offer which amounts to a pay cut in real terms.

“With the ongoing driver shortage, our members are seeking a pay increase which recognises their hard work and dedication.

“If strikes do occur then it will have major implications for the construction industry. Supplies of cement will quickly run out, which will result in projects being delayed.

“Hanson’s is simply not giving its drivers the respect they deserve. This is apparent in their working conditions and their pay.

“The solution is in Hanson’s hands. The company needs to return to the negotiating table and demonstrate genuine changes to the way our members are managed and make an offer on pay that reflects the current challenges in the industry and the commitment our members give to the company.

“Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers' living standards.”