Highway workers could go on strike over proposals that could see up to £12,000 axed from their annual pay, according to a trade union.

57 workers employed by Ringway Infrastructure Services to repair roads, and replace traffic bollards and damaged railings in Hertfordshire have today (Monday, September 2) voted for strike action.

The decision comes after they were told about proposals for new employment contracts which could see some workers losing up to £12,000 per year, trade union Unite said.

The union said it understood Ringway was considering moving their employees from their current contracts which they had kept under their previous employers to “inferior” contracts.

A spokesperson said the proposed changes will affect workers differently depending what contract they currently have - some could have their pay packets reduced or increased, and some might receive better or worse employment conditions.

But overall, the effects are expected to be negative, he said. 93 per cent of Unite highway workers in Hertfordshire voted for strike action.

If workers are pushed to sign these contracts due to the risk of being fired, Unite says it will pursue strike action.

Unite regional officer Richard Gates said: “This massive vote in favour of strike action is a very powerful message from our members over this unprecedented attack on their pay and employment conditions.

“We have now reached a fork in the road – either the hard-line bosses back down on this proposal or Unite will prepare for strike action on behalf of our members who stand to lose up to £12,000-a-year in their income.

“This is a hardworking group of workers who do an essential job in maintaining the roads in Hertfordshire in all weathers and should not be treated in this despicable fashion.”

Ringway said consultation meetings are still ongoing.

A spokesperson said: “Ringway is undertaking an ongoing consultation process with our employees in Hertfordshire.

“We are fully consulting with all elected representatives of recognised Unions, representatives from our employees who are not currently members of Unions, and individuals and all consultation is being undertaken in line with accepted processes.”

When approached for comment, Hertfordshire County Council directed the press to Ringway.