UK-based trade union Unite the Union has announced that approximately 100 Sandwell Council building workers will engage in strike action in the coming months.  

The decision to strike follows withdrawal from a promise concerning a market supplement of £2,900 ($3,684), which the council had previously agreed to in August last year. 

Carpenters, bricklayers, plasterers, roofers, glaziers, plumbers, painters, and decorators will take part in the strike. 

The workers have expressed their discontent with the council’s retraction of the agreed supplement, which was calculated by the council itself.

Unite regional officer Lee Wiggetts-Clinton said: “Unite has given the council every opportunity over the last year to resolve this dispute. Strike action can still be avoided but that requires the council to pay what it promised.” 

This industrial action is expected to have an impact on council property repairs, potentially leading to delays in maintenance schedules. 

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Negotiations regarding the market supplement have been ongoing for an extended period, with discussions reportedly starting months before August 2023.  

Despite these efforts, the issue remains unresolved, causing the aforementioned workers to resort to industrial action. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members have had enough of Sandwell’s disgraceful behaviour. It is refusing to honour an agreement it made over a year ago and making flimsy excuses.  

“These are skilled workers who fully deserve a market supplement in recognition of the higher wages they could earn elsewhere. They are absolutely right to strike, and they have Unite’s full support in doing so.” 

The 14 strike dates fall between 5 February and 22 March this year. 

Unite has indicated that if the dispute is not resolved, further strikes will be organised.