Workers across the construction industry are currently balloting on a 3.5 percent pay offer.
The ballots affect 20,000 steel erectors, pipe fitters and welders who are covered by the industry’s “blue book” or Naeci agreement, which dates from 1981.
The construction bosses’ organisation, the Engineering Construction Industry Association, is complaining that the Naeci national wage agreement is unsustainable over the next few years.
The blue book agreements have been seen as the minimum standard for the engineering sectors of the construction industry.
Some construction workers want to move beyond the offer from the employers.
One union source told Socialist Worker, “Things look like they are moving in the right direction. These workers have been denied good wages for years.
“With workers at the Heathrow and Wembley sites going out and winning in recent times we can get more than 3.5 percent basic.
“There is a feeling that the time is ripe for improving pay and allowances across the construction industry.”
Despite being recommended for acceptance by all the unions, no one voted to accept the proposal at Heathrow Terminal 5 or the Wembley stadium site. Workers at the Esso Refinery at Fawley in Southampton rejected the offer by 154 votes to 34.
Details of the results of the ballots, which affect Amicus, T&G and GMB union members, were due to be released at the end of this week.