By Max Clarke

Unite, the UK’s largest union, has notified energy giant National Grid that it will serve notice for industrial action in a dispute over pay.

The three year deal, which consisted of 2.5 per cent, 2.25 per cent and 2.25 per cent, has been rejected by union members. National Grid then removed the three year deal at talks yesterday and offered a two year deal of 2.5 per cent and 2.25 per cent, which was also rejected. Inflation rates currently stand at 3.3%, and rise of up to 4% has been forecast. Unite members voted 94 per cent in favour of the strike which includes a work to rule and an overtime ban.

Talks have been taking place since April 2010 and as there has been no resolution, Unite will now serve an industrial action notice on the company. National Grid posted half yearly figures showing operating profits were up 31 per cent on last year. The company's chief executive, Steve Holliday, is said to be “pleased with the operating and financial performance”.

Michael Tuff, Unite regional officer, said: “This is the second year in succession we have had to serve notice of industrial action to a very profitable company.

“Industrial action is not our preferred route - we want a negotiated settlement, but the company’s position of ‘no further money available’ has forced our members to go down this route.”

Around 750 Unite members work for National Grid throughout the UK. Unite members are employed mainly within the transmission part of the business covering substations and overhead lines.