Around 170 environmental workers in Norwich have taken part in indicative ballots for strikes.
They are the first group of several hundred workers being transferred from Norse (owned by Norfolk County Council) to NCSL, a new company set up by Norwich City Council.
The transfer follows extensive negotiations between the city council and the two unions.
During those talks the Labour-controlled city council made promises about the harmonisation of terms and conditions with the existing workforce. But NCSL has now told the unions that there is no new money available and they will be guided by market conditions.
From Labour city councillors there has been a deathly silence, with all being unresponsive to emails.
A formal ballot for strikes is now proceeding.