Concrete firm faces tribunal over 15% wage cut

Unite is threatening to take a concrete specialist to an employment tribunal over plans to slash wages by 15%.

It has emerged that some workers at PC Harrington will be forced to take a 15% pay cut from January or face losing their jobs.

Members of the concrete construction specialist’s site workforce were sent a letter last week detailing that wages would be slashed in January, because the firm was not picking up new contracts.

Harry Cowap, regional officer at Unite, said that if the firm failed to respond to a grievance letter submitted by a worker it would be forced to take legal proceedings.

The letter said: “A response to the grievance is a requirement by law and should you fail to do so we will proceed to an Employment Tribunal."

Cowap added: “I hope common sense prevails and we can resolved this issue without any legal involvement.”

PC Harrington said in a letter to a worker: “Despite cutting margins, material costs and plant rates, PCH has been unable to successfully compete in securing workload for 2009.

“In our efforts to win stiff competition in difficult conditions and to try and avoid future redundancies we are now forced to consider other cost reductions. Accordingly, we must advise that we are unable to provide work for you at your current rate beyond 31 December 2008 and your current contract will expire on that date.”

The letter offers workers a new contract at £8.50 an hour. Workers were previously receiving £10 an hour.

Building has been informed that those workers that do not accept the new terms will not have their contracts renewed for 2009 and will not receive redundancy pay.

PC Harrington declined to comment.