The 74 HGV drivers, based at four depots in Rugby, Tilbury, Barton-on-Humber and Newport, supply building materials to construction sites across the UK.
The ballot, which runs until Thursday 4th May, comes after the drivers rejected the company’s pay offer which the Unite union says represented a pay cut in real terms. Cemex had offered the drivers a 1.6% increase in pay and allowances backdated to 1st July 2016. Additionally, only a quarter of the existing location allowance would be consolidated into the agreement.
Warning of project delays if members back industrial action, Unite called on Cemex to raise its offer or risk a programme of industrial action over the months ahead.
Adrian Jones, Unite national officer for road transport, said: “Members are simply not going to accept a pay offer which in real terms sees their pay fall. Cemex should be investing in its hardworking and dedicated workforce with a pay offer that properly reflects the important contribution our members make to the business. It is imperative that Cemex understands the determination of our members and produces a much improved offer to avert the need for industrial action.”
A Cemex spokesperson said: "Cemex UK very much regrets that Unite has called a ballot of HGV cement tanker drivers delivering bulk cement, based at a number of our cement supply depots, seeking approval for industrial action. Cemex UK has a robust contingency in place should our HGV cement tanker drivers resort to any industrial action, and we will ensure a continued supply of bulk cement to all of our customers. Supply of all other Cemex UK products is not affected by this ballot.
"The offer made to our HGV cement tanker drivers, representing fewer than 2.5% of the Cemex UK workforce, is the same as that already in place for the rest of our 3,000 UK employees and relates to the pay increase awarded for last year (2016). Cemex UK always seeks to proactively engage with all our drivers and Unite."