Tower cranes at site across London and the South East were brought to a standstill as HTC drivers delivered the first of three planned days of stoppages.
Major sites at London Bridge, Elephant & Castle, Victoria and Nine Elms were hit as crane drivers kept away from work.
Construction union UCATT claimed the strike was solid among the 180 crane drivers employed by HTC.
But as the dispute over pay grew ever more acrimonious HTC has barred striking crane drivers from returning to work over this weekend.
Despite 11th hour talks between union officials and HTC a deal could not be struck before today.
A spokesman for UCATT said: “There has been action across the country including pickets at HTC’s Sheffield headquarters.
“Our members are adamant they will continued with action until this dispute is resolved.”
The crane strike is understood to have hit many contractors’ sites, including BAM, Costain, Kier, Galliford Try, Lend Lease, McGee and Sisk.
Further stoppages are planned for the 14 and 21 of November