Metrolink strikes back on after staff reject ‘greatly improved’ pay offer

More than 300 drivers and supervisors on Manchester’s Metrolink tram network will stage a series of strikes this month in a row over pay.

They have called a one-day strike on Sunday, October 10, the day of the city’s marathon, in a row over pay, followed by further strikes on Friday, October 15, and Monday, October 18, and a further strike on Sunday, October 24, when Manchester United will play Liverpool at Old Trafford.

The members of trade union Unite are taking action after rejecting the latest pay offer from tram contractor, Keolis/Amey, which had been recommended for acceptance by the union.

General secretary, Sharon Graham, had hailed “a greatly improved pay offer” by employers.

But this has now been rejected and new strikes have been called after talks on Thursday, September 30, failed to produce an improved offer.

Ms Graham said: “Metrolink’s workers have continued to keep Manchester moving during the pandemic. They deserve fair pay.

“Keolis/Amey must understand that Unite is dedicated to advancing our members’ pay and conditions. Unite’s members will have their general secretary’s full support throughout this dispute.”

Competitors and spectators have been advised by the marathon organisers to use the tram system because road closures in the city will cause disruption for bus passengers and car drivers.

Unite said the initial pay offer amounted to a one per cent increase for a 15 month period, which the union says, in reality, was a real-terms pay cut.

Unite regional officer, Dave Roberts, said: “The tram contractor, Keolis/Amey, can avoid disruption to the Manchester marathon and our city’s other big sporting events by tabling a respectful and decent pay offer.

“Even at this late stage management has the power to avoid these strikes by improving the pay offer. The ball is now in Keolis/Amey’s court.”

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