Cornwall concrete drivers to strike

The Unite union warns that construction projects across Cornwall are liable to be disrupted over the next couple of weeks and possibly beyond.

The workers requested a voluntary recognition agreement from Maen Karne on behalf of Unite to allow for collective bargaining over pay and conditions, which was rejected.

Maen Karne describes itself as the leading independent supplier of bagged and loose aggregate, concrete blocks, ready-mix concrete and flowing screed in the southwest. The company comprises Maen Karne Aggregates and Maen Karne Concrete Products (formerly Western Blocks 2010 Ltd). It has been part of GRS (formerly Galliford Road Stone) since 2016.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite cannot accept union busting. Our members’ jobs, pay and conditions are this union’s top priority and by refusing to enter a recognition agreement Maen Karne is clearly intent on blocking collective bargaining. Maen Karne’s workers will receive Unite’s total support during these strikes.”

The concrete mixer drivers will strike on 30 and 31 May and 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 June. If the dispute is not resolved, more industrial action will be scheduled, Unite said.

 Unite regional officer Dave Smith said: “These strikes will cause severe disruption to Maen Karne’s clients. But the dispute is entirely of the company’s own making. Its workers have asked that the company recognise their union for collective bargaining purposes and that is what needs to happen.”

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