M25 delays expected as 150 maintenance workers to strike over pay

Around 150 M25 maintenance workers will go on strike over pay, a union has said.

Unite, which represents the workers, said the walkout would cause “inconvenience and delays” on the major motorway encircling most of Greater London.

Union members voted to strike after being offered a pay rise of 3.4 per cent by Balfour Beatty, an infrastructure company which has a 30-year contract to manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.

The union claimed the pay offer was below inflation, and so was a real-terms pay cut, and that the workers also received a below inflation pay rise last year.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Providing these workers with a fair pay rise would not even dent Balfour Beatty huge profits.

“Balfour Beatty is hugely profitable - its pay offer is all about greed not need. Unite will be backing our members 100 per cent during the forthcoming strike action.”

The workers operate from depots based at Barnet, Uxbridge, Swanley, Epping and Dartford. Unite said dates for industrial action will be announced in the coming days.

The union’s regional officer Phil Silkstone said: “The inconvenience and delays caused by strike action to M25 travellers sits squarely at the door of Balfour Beatty.

“It has had every opportunity to put forward a reasonable offer but has repeatedly refused to do so. Balfour Beatty must swiftly return to talks with Unite and table an acceptable pay deal.”

A Balfour Beatty spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by Unite the Union’s decision to proceed with strike action. 

“We remain committed to working with them to reach an appropriate outcome, and would like to reassure travellers that suitable contingency plans are in place to minimise any potential disruption”.