A dispute over pay and conditions could lead to strike action on major infrastructure projects, construction unions have warned

The GMB is threatening to ballot workers for official strike action if the Engineering Construction Industry Association (ECIA) does not comply with wage demands for sites covered by the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI).

The GMB and Unite were scheduled to meet with the ECIA on Wednesday to discuss the 2010 deal, following an initial meeting in March.

The GMB said it would have no alternative but to organise a ballot, which could lead to official strikes on NAECI sites if demands weren’t met. Sites covered by the deal include power stations and oil refineries and could also include Crossrail.

The row over foreign labour has overshadowed this year’s negotiations, and unions said they would be pushing for other conditions in addition to the pay deal. Phil Davies, national secretary for the GMB, said both unions would be calling for “security of employment”.

“Employers needs to create a level playing field where all workers are paid the same, so they are not tempted to employ foreign workers purely for financial reasons,” he said.