More than 1,000 United Utilities workers vote to strike

More than 1,000 North-West water workers have voted to strike over pay and in protest at what they say has been years of under-investment in the system.
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A total of 1,100 United Utilities employees, who work on both clean and dirty water, will down tools following an industrial action ballot.

A majority of 68 per cent voted to strike after complaining of real terms pay cuts for years.

Dates for the strike, which will affect leaks, maintenance and cleaning up sewage after spillages, will be announced in the coming days.

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United Utilities
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Steve Whittle, GMB Organiser, said: “There is real frustration from our members.

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“They’ve seen their pay slashed in real terms for several years, while shareholders and directors trouser fortunes.

“Meanwhile the infrastructure is left to crumble through a lack of investment.

“Enough is enough – GMB members at United Utilities demand no more cuts and clean water now.”

However United Utilities say they were unaware of any strike action and have since made an increased pay offer since the vote

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A United Utilities spokesperson said: “That vote took place two weeks ago.

"Since then we have made an improved pay offer which ranges between 7.5 per cent to 8.6 per cent for our employees, along with an additional payment of £1,000.

"All four recognised unions, including GMB, are currently balloting their members on the new offer.

"We have positive relations with our trade unions and have awarded pay settlements year on year as part of constructive negotiations.

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“If this latest pay offer is accepted, then the overall increase in base salaries, since 2020, would be between 16.6 per cent and 17.7 per cent, plus additional one-off lump sum payments of £1500.

“GMB has not notified us of strike action and all of our employees continue to work as normal, maintaining services for customers.”