Union representative for the company Nick Daley said that the men were forced on Wednesday to hold an unofficial ballot after being spoken to collectively and individually by the management.He said he had complained to the Transport and General Workers Union about what happened.
‘What they’ve done is very underhand,’ said Mr Daley.The vote went narrowly in favour of accepting the deal by eight votes to seven.
However, that was reversed emphatically yesterday when, after considering their position overnight, Mr Daley held an official ballot which went ten to four against the latest offer.’The ballot of seven to eight came about because they were pressurised and forced to take it because they were being watched by a director and manager.
The workforce said (at the time) give us 24 hours and we’ll review it, but they went around the site pressurising people and within four hours it had worked.
By the morning, the lads had had time to think about it,’ said Mr Daley.However, the European operations director for Aggregate Industries – the parent company of both Pallot Tarmac and Ronez Ltd – Mike Osborne, who spoke to the workforce on Wednesday, disputed Mr Daley’s claims.Denying that their approach was underhand, he said that he came away feeling the discussions with the men had been constructive and part of continuing negotiations between the workforce, the management and the Transport and General Workers Union.Mr Osborne said that before speaking to the men, and taking an informal ballot, he had informed Mr Daley of his intentions.
He was also keeping TGWU official Nick Corbel fully informed.
‘We spoke to the men individually because they each wanted to know what the offer meant to them.
We were not applying pressure, we were trying to be constructive so everyone knew what the offer meant to them personally,’ he said.The row erupted earlier this month when Pallot’s workforce downed tools complaining of a lack of parity with Ronez’ workforce and being treated like numbers since the former family-owned local company had been sold in April.When asked for comment, Mr Corbel said that the negotiations were continuing as normal.