Unite Scotland is balloting HGV, forklift and shunter drivers employed by Carntyne Transport on strike action in a dispute over pay.

The Springburn (Glasgow) based logistics firm, which is part of the Russell Group, employs around 300 staff but the strike ballot will cover an area of the business involving around 200 of these workers.

The ballot opens today (1 December) and will close on 15 December.

The company has a number of clients including beer and spirits producer Diageo which could be hit by any strike action over the festive period.

The strike ballot is in response to Carntyne Transport’s refusal to improve upon its £1.12 increase per hour pay offer which would take HGV drivers’ pay to £13.72.

The company is said to be also only offering to increase pay for On-Site Logistics (OSL) workers (cask handlers, forklift drivers and shunters) by only 16 pence to £9.96.

Carntyne accounts for 2020 show pre-tax profits of £3.98 million, up 38% from £2.88 million in 2019.

Unite’s members are now demanding £15 an hour for HGV drivers, and a significant increase for OSL workers in light of rising levels of pay and labour shortages.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The fight at Carntyne Transport being led by our members is over decent pay and conditions, and they will have our full support in their campaign to drive-up standards.

“Our members are simply fed-up at being treated with disrespect and they will no longer accept wage levels well below industry standards. This union is now focussed on fighting for the jobs pay and conditions of our members and will do so at Carntyne Transport.”

Linda Pollock-Wilson, Unite industrial officer, added: “The cask handlers, forklift drivers and shunters are being offered a paltry 16 pence an hour rise, which leaves their pay barely above the national minimum wage. The HGV drivers are being offered an increase which still leaves them below £14 per hour, yet drivers at other companies are paying drivers £20 per hour.

“The company can afford to stop this dispute by paying our members the rate for the job, so why don’t they do just that.

“We are determined to improve the pay and conditions of our members in Carntyne Transport, and this strike ballot is only the first step in our fight."

The company's fleet consists of over 150 vehicles and 700 trailers, including ADR spirit tankers, bulk chemical tankers, powder tankers and specialist trailers designed to carry whisky casks.