Page last updated at 00:27 GMT, Saturday, 1 November 2008

Contingency plan ready for strike

Water drop from a tap
Scottish Water said it was confident it could minimise any impact

Scottish Water has said it will be able to cope if some of its 3,600 workers take industrial action over pay.

Unions have been balloting members on strike action.

The company said it had made an award within public sector pay guidelines which was paid in September salaries and backdated to April.

Chris Wallace, director of communications, said this was done in the "best interests" of customers and staff.

The ballot of union members closes on 11 November.

He said: "We have been in talks with our employees, representatives and their trade unions in connection with this year's pay award for some considerable time.

"We are aware of the demands on everyone's pay in today's tough economic climate but we believe that we have got the best possible deal we could in the circumstances.

"Scottish Water wants to ensure that our business moves forward and continues to deliver benefits to our customers."

He added: "Scottish Water would implement rehearsed contingency plans if there was strike action and we are confident these plans would minimise any impact on our customers and allow us to provide as normal a service as possible during any such action."

Earlier this year, contingency plans were triggered by Network Rail so limited services could be operated during a walk-out by signal workers.

Stagecoach was also gearing up to draft in 160 staff from across the UK to try to keep services going in north east Scotland and the Highlands before union members suspended industrial action.

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