UNITE the union last week confirmed that its local government craft membership have voted to reject the COSLA pay offer.

In a vote taking place last Friday, 69 per cent voted to reject the deal - with 90 per cent voting for industrial action.

The craft agreement covers trades persons including joiners, labourers, painters and electricians.

The craft membership will now jointly meet with Unite’s local government membership, who also voted to reject, to coordinate the next steps in the escalating pay dispute.

John Gillespie, the Chair of Unite Scotland’s Construction Committee said: “The emphatic result by our craft membership to reject the pay offer and also give clear support for industrial action must surely result in COSLA swiftly coming back to the negotiating table with a new offer.

“If they don’t, then Unite’s craft and local government membership will be moving forward to coordinate joint action.

Ultimately, if this is not resolved by COSLA then it will mean widespread disruption across Scotland.”

Steven Dillon, Unite Regional Co-ordinating Officer said: “I fully support the mandate from our craft membership as our workers and their families have suffered pay freezes and real terms cuts for far too long.

“Workers are not taking the decision lightly to move towards industrial action but the derisory offer by COSLA have left them with no choice but defend themselves and their families.”