WORKERS at a steel fabrication company in Clydebank are to be balloted for industrial action in a row over pay.

Members of the GMB union working at Clydebank Engineering and Fabrication (CBEF) are being consulted this week over whether to move to a full ballot on industrial action.

The union says the firm is refusing to improve a proposed pay increase for 2021 of just 50 pence an hour.

But CBEF director Peter McKain disputes the union's claim.

The GMB says its representatives previously submitted a claim for a £1.50 an hour increase as a starting point in a bid to close what they call a "significant pay gap" between CBEF and similar trade in the wider Glasgow area.

According to the union, tradespeople such as welders and platers are hired by CBEF on day shift rates of £10.03 an hour - which the GMB says is almost £7 an hour lower than the average base salary for a welder.

The GMB is to run a consultative ballot of its members working for CBEF, which makes steel structures and supplies prefabricated panels to bus builder Alexander Dennis Limited.

The ballot will run until Friday, June 25.

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GMB Scotland organiser Gary Cook said: “GMB has consistently raised the problem of widespread low-pay in work and society, and this is yet another case in point of people struggling on little more than £10 an hour. It’s got to be better than this.

“Should our members return support for moving to a full industrial action ballot against the employer’s pay offer, then we will begin plans for that statutory process and that could mean supply-chain disruption for firms like Alexander Dennis later this summer.

“If we want to build a fairer recovery then we need to start giving people proper value for the work they do – the likes of CBEF would do well to listen their workers’ voice and become part of the solution, and not the problem."

CBEF director Peter McKain told the Post: "I would just like to make it clear it is not a 50 pence pay rise, it is a 5 per cent pay rise across the board, which the majority of employees wish to take and only a small number of GMB members are refusing."