Britain's wool textile workers could strike after they rejected a "derisory" 1.5 per cent pay offer and agreed to a ballot on industrial action.

Members of the Transport & General Workers' Union threw out the offer from the Confederation of British Wool Textiles' and said in a statement they would now organise a vote to decide on possible strike action.

Senior union negotiator, Peter Booth, said: "This decision by members to reject yet another low wage increase from the wool textile employers reflects many years of frustration by workers in the industry who have consistently received lower wage increases and improvements in their terms of employment in comparison to other groups of textile workers and manufacturing workers in general.

"Following the many difficulties and hardships suffered by workers in this industry a 1.5 per cent offer on what are already generally lower levels of earnings is nothing less than derisory."

"In addition to this, the employers were not even prepared to consider improvements in holidays, sick pay or family-friendly working policies.

He continued: "Furthermore this group of employers have refused to provide an additional day of holiday in respect of the Queen's Golden Jubilee and effectively expect workers in this industry to take that Public Holiday out of their own existing holiday entitlement.

"The T&G has long argued that textile workers are entitled to much better terms of employment and will be firmly recommending that members vote in favour of taking industrial action in support of a better future for themselves."