Balfour Beatty, which employs workers on outsourced contracts at the University of London, has failed to respond to notice of a trade dispute from the workers’ trade union, increasing the likelihood of outsourced workers’ strikes at the prestigious institution.

The company and the University have ignored repeated calls from workers’ representatives in the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) for negotiation over the planned closure of inter-collegiate student halls, trade union recognition, and outstanding grievances around unequal sick pay, holiday pay and pensions.

The IWGB has made clear that it is still keen to begin negotiations but that a continuing failure by the company to reciprocate is making strike action more likely.

A spokesperson said: ‘No one ever wants to go on strike but the company and the University of London have consistently treated staff with contempt, refusing to speak to workers’ representatives, and giving no promise that redundancies will not be made when the halls close. Workers cannot live with this continuing uncertainty and are fully prepared to resort to strike action if their employer and the university will not behave responsibly’.