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Sun May 16 2021

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Tower crane operators threaten strike action

24 Mar 17 Tower crane operators at HTC Wolffkran have rejected a 3% pay offer, prompting their union to warn of the risk of industrial action.

Unite, the main construction union now that it has subsumed Ucatt, warned that “a summer of chaos on construction sites” was now looming.

Unite will now hold a consultative ballot and then expects to begin a full industrial action ballot in early summer, unless the company improves the pay offer.

HTC began life as Hewden Tower Cranes. It was taken over by PC Harrington in 2002. When Harrington collapsed in 2015, the German/Swiss crane manufacturer Wolffkran stepped in to rescue it. HTC was Wolff’s UK agent and one of its biggest customers worldwide.

Unite’s acting national officer for construction Jerry Swain, said: “If the company fail to significantly improve their pay offer then Unite members will not shy away from causing major industrial disruption, with high profile construction sites being targeted.”

In November 2014 workers at the predecessor company HTC Plant took strike action over a pay dispute and subsequently secured an enhanced pay deal.

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