Strike action looms for West Midlands Metro workers
West Midlands Metro works are set to ballot for industrial action this September, over ‘poverty pay rates’.
More than 170 workers will be balloted following extensive negotiations with West Midlands Metro.
Workers are asking for a minimum pay rate of £27,000 for tram drivers/customer representatives and a £5,000 increase for all other grades that can start at just £21,537.
The tram drivers/customer representatives are currently paid just £21,939, which is one of the lowest rates in the UK for this kind of role.
West Midlands Metro has made an ‘inadequate offer’ of £25,250 to drivers/customer representatives and 5.25% to all other grades.
If the workers vote for strike action then stoppages are likely to begin in October.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members play a vital role in keeping Birmingham and the Black Country moving. Workers were already struggling on poverty pay rates and now they simply can’t make ends meet as a result of the cost of living crisis.
“Unite is entirely committed to improving the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and workers at the West Midland Metro will receive the union’s full support until this dispute is resolved.”
Unite regional officer Sulinder Singh said: “If industrial action occurs it will undoubtedly cause considerable disruption but this dispute is entirely of the employers’ own making, it has had every opportunity to make a fair pay offer but has refused to do so.”