Trade union Amicus is preparing to ballot nearly 800 members at the Rolls Royce plant in Bristol as the dispute in support of a sacked union convenor, Jerry Hicks, escalates.
The ballot is for action in addition to 96 engineers at the site’s test department who havebeen on continuous strike since 23 August, in support of Hicks, who was sacked by the company in July.
The union says the ballot will be concluded in September and, if voted for, strike action will begin in October.
Amicus has warned that it may also ballot more than 200 Rolls Royce administrative staff at Bristol.
National officer Ian Waddell said: “Amicus and our members are determined to do everything we can to achieve Jerry Hick’s reinstatement. It’s unbelievable that the company seem to be willing to let this dispute grow rather than just do the right thing and give Jerry his job back.
“Rolls Royce released a statement earlier this week saying that workers should be careful not to risk a successful business but it’s Rolls Royce that is prepared to risk a damaging strike because of its failed handling of industrial relations.”
Tony Wood, managing director of Rolls-Royce in Bristol, has said a breakdown in the trust between Jerry Hicks and the company meant there was “no basis” on which he could be reinstated.