ROADS workers at Scottish Borders Council have voted to go on strike over the winter as tensions grow against their employers.

More than three-quarters of the voting Unite members have backed a tools-down move after the local authority are accused of drafting in contracted workers from Edinburgh.

Dates for the days of industrial action have yet to be finalised but officials have confirmed that forms of industrial action will take place during 'the winter season'.

The roads department employees held a day of industrial action in August over imposed changes to their terms and conditions.

The local authority responded by drafting in workers from a company in the capital.

Willie Thomson, Unite's regional industrial officer, told us: “Rather than negotiate with Unite to settle this dispute Scottish Borders Council have chosen to ignore their workers and spend taxpayers’ money on contractors at rates higher than what our members were offered.

"Unite members have overwhelmingly voted to fight against the attacks on their terms and conditions, and to protect the long-standing collective agreements we have in place.

"The workers are determined to be respected by their employer and they are rightly aggrieved about the injustice being imposed on them."

Unite held a two-week long industrial action ballot.

A total of 76 percent of their members voted with 77 percent voting to strike and 84 percent for other forms of industrial action.

A further meeting will take place next week to decide on the forms of action to take.

Mr Thomson added: "A decision on whether we will be holding strikes or days of industrial action will be taken next week when we have conferred further with our members.

"Our members have years and years of keeping the roads clear in the Borders yet the council is bringing in workers from outside the area to do this work."

"We also believe that the payments being offered by Scottish Borders Council to contractors based in Edinburgh are in excess of the current payments offered to our members in the roads department."