GMB CEC Gives Authority For Official Ballot For Strike Action At Anglian Water In Pay Dispute
There was a pay freeze last year and this year the company imposed a 2.5% increase after it had been rejected by members says GMB.
The GMB Central Executive Council (CEC) has given authority for an official ballot for strike action for members Anglian Water in a dispute over pay. Unite will also ballot members.
GMB has members in Anglia Water spread over three GMB regions including Birmingham and West Midlands, Midland and East Coast and London and Eastern Counties.
Anglian Water manages water and water recycling for over six million customers in a region from the Humber to the Thames estuary and then from Buckinghamshire to Lowestoft on the east coast covering an area of 27,500 square km. It is the largest water England and Wales by geographic area covering parts of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire. Anglia Water is owned by 3I; Canada Pension Plan Investment Board; and two Australian funds Colonial First State and IFM Investors.
Eamon O Hearn Large, GMB lead officer for water, said “GMB members had a pay freeze last year and this year the company offered a 2.5% increase.
This offer was rejected by members in a ballot vote. However Anglian Water refused to go to ACAS and imposed the offer.
Members then voted overwhelmingly in an indicative ballot for industrial action and to move to an official ballot. We are currently making arrangements for the ballot and we will announce the date shortly.
Anglian Water is a classic case of corporate greed. Anglian Water is a natural monopoly being used as a cash cow funnelling billions into offshore tax havens while paying little corporation taxes while treating its manual workers appallingly.
The national media identified that Anglian Water's cashflow statement for 2012 reports that the company paid no corporation tax on its regulated water business in the financial year ending in March. The company paid £500,000 corporation tax in the previous year and £1.4m the year before. Anglian, which lent £1,609.1m to a subsidiary company in the Cayman Islands in 2002, paid £478.1m in equity dividends to investors in 2012, including its subsidiary in the tax haven.
Last year an investigation by Corporate Watch into the finances of the 19 water and sewerage companies in England and Wales found:
- Almost one third of the money spent on water bills goes to banks and investors as interest and dividends.
- People are paying £2 billion more a year – or around £80 per household - than they would be if the water and sewerage supply was publicly financed.
- Six companies are avoiding millions in tax by routing profits through tax havens, using a regulatory loophole the government has chosen to keep open.
- The CEOs of the 19 water companies were paid almost £10m in salaries and other bonuses in 2012.”
Contact Eamon O’Hearn Large 07918 777 097 or Tony Warr London 07710 631 336 or Stuart Richards Birmingham on 07957 265774 and Colin Todd from East Midlands 07966 327982.