A PROTEST is being staged at Wiltshire Council’s headquarters today over the refusal by highways contractor Balfour Beatty to accept union rights for 300 workers.

The company, which is employed by the unitary authority on a £25 million road maintenance, lighting and street cleaning contract, is refusing to recognise the GMB union.

A total 300 staff were transferred to Balfour Beatty Living Places in June last year from Wiltshire Council and previous contractor English Landscapes.

The company, which also been accused of blacklisting construction workers, is said by the union to have gone back on assurances given in pre-contract talks that collective bargaining rights would continue.

Cllr Jeff Osborn announced he was tabling a motion to the full council calling for the council to make it clear in the tendering process for future contracts that it will only sign with organisations that recognise union rights for the employees.