Ainscough operators have been awarded a 15% rise in pay rates as part of a restructuring of wages to reduce their dependency on overtime and bring them into line with former GWS employees.

Chairman Martin Ainscough explained: “I firmly believe that the potential for a disaster exists where crane drivers are suffering fatigue. Here at Ainscough we have had a 16 hour maximum working day for over two years and this is now part of the new pay award and covers all the former GWS drivers as well.

“I still hear stories of crane drivers who have worked in excess of 24 hours without a sufficient break and this is surely a disaster waiting to happen. This new pay award will increase our cost of doing business and those costs will ultimately have to be passed onto our customers, but surely the safety issues must outweigh any relatively small cost implications.”