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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Roads Service maintenance workers in Unite Union commence one week strike action

Road Workers demand productivity payment be integrated into payscales to remove potential mechanism for pay victimization.

More than two hundreds Unite members employed by the Roads Service of Northern Ireland will be joining with colleagues in the GMB in taking strike action for a week commencing today, Monday 27th February.

The industrial action follows a ballot of Unite members which returned a 95.30 percent vote for strike. The workers are seeking changes to their terms and conditions meaning the integration of a productivity bonus into their payscales.

Roads Service workers’ pay is dependent on a productivity-based payment which is subject to the determination of managers. In the recent years roads workers at some hubs have taken strike action over allegations of bullying and harassment and are now seeking to close down a mechanism which potentially leaves them subject to 'victimization by managers'.

The strike pickets will be established at 8am on Monday 27 February and will last seven days and affect roads maintenance work across Northern Ireland.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham pledged her union’s full support for the Roads Service workers:

“No worker should be subject to bullying and harassment in their place of work. This productivity payment must be integrated into workers’ pay and not subject to the whims of managers. Unite stands fully behind our members in Roads Service who are striking for dignity in their place of work.”

Lead regional officer for roads service workers Gareth Scott explained the context for the strike:

“Our members in Roads Service are dependent on the allocation of productivity-based duties in order to make bonus, which leaves them subject to potentially less favourable treatment from managers. The workers feel that management have weaponised the bonus scheme, a situation which is intolerable.

“It is now clear that this bonus scheme is broken beyond repair and Management’s refusal to integrate this productivity mechanism into payscales has left the workforce with no alternative but to take strike action. Those taking strike action perform a vital role maintaining road standards and safety. The responsibility for the impact of this strike resides with the intransigence of management.”

Pickets will be established at the following eleven depots: Ballykeel Roads Depot, 190 Larne Link Road, Ballymena; Woodburn Roads Depot, 1a Crescent Road, Derry/L’Derry; County Hall, Drumragh Avenue, Omagh; Silverhill Roads Depot, 53a Shore Road, Enniskillen; Carn Roads Depot, Carn Road, Carn Industrial Estate, Portadown; Armagh Roads Depot, 44 Seagoe Industrial Estate, Craigavon; Newry Roads Depot, Springhill Drive, Carnbane Industrial Estate, Newry; Sprucefield Roads Depot, Sprucefield Roundabout, Lisburn; Airport Road Roads Depot, Airport Road, Belfast; Bangor Roads Depot, 72 Balloo Road, Bangor; Sandyknowes Roads Depot, 543 Antrim Road, Newtownabbey.


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