The industry has been warned that it will face a “severe” cement shortage this fall due to possible truck driver strikes.
Unite, the UK’s largest union, said some of the country’s biggest projects, including HS2, could run out of cement if Hanson cement company truck drivers vote to strike.
More than 200 truck drivers supplying Hanson’s Castle Cement brand have turned down a 2.5% salary offer for this year amid persistent national driver shortages across all sectors.
Unite said that with inflation currently at 3.9%, the offer represents a “sharp” pay cut in real terms.
It added that drivers are also unhappy with Hanson’s “independent leadership style and a marked lack of dignity at work”.
In addition to HS2, the projects for which the drivers are supplying cement also include Hinkley Point, Sellafield and Thames Tideway.
They also supply large construction companies like Judenson and Marshalls.
The election opens this Friday and closes two weeks later, with strike action possibly starting in October if members vote in favor.
Unite National Officer Adrian Jones said, “If strikes happen, it will have a big impact on the construction industry. Cement supplies will run out quickly, delaying projects.
“Hanson’s just doesn’t give its drivers the respect they deserve. This shows in their working conditions and their salary.
“The solution is in Hanson’s hands. The company needs to come back to the negotiating table and demonstrate real changes in the way our members are run and come up with a salary offer that reflects the current challenges in the industry and our members’ commitment to the company. “
Hanson was asked to comment.
Last month, the site management council warned that the shortage of truck drivers is now the main problem for many suppliers and the prices of materials continue to rise, with wood, cement, roofing products, bricks, blocks, insulation and steel being the most scarce.