Metro strikes for this week suspended following improved pay offer

The remaining strikes scheduled for this week on the West Midlands Metro have been suspended following an improved pay offer.

An all-out strike from 28th November was initially announced this morning after negotiations at the conciliation service Acas, where employees were offered a one-off payment of £300 paid in April 2023 to resolve the dispute.

Following the announcement, the employers requested an urgent meeting at Acas and an improved pay offer was made. The 170-plus workers, who are members of Unite the union, have been taking extensive strike action since 15th October.

Unite will now ballot its members at the West Midlands Metro on the new offer. As an act of goodwill, the strike action planned for Wednesday–Friday this week (16-18 November) has been suspended to allow the ballot to go ahead.

If the latest offer is rejected then the strikes scheduled for next week and beyond including the all-out strike action will proceed as scheduled.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said this morning: “The workers on the West Midlands Metro undertake highly responsible roles and are simply not going to accept poverty rates of pay any longer. They are being paid £5,000 less per year than workers on other metro networks.

“Andy Street needs to stop hiding behind his desk and end poverty pay on the West Midlands Metro.

“Unite is the union which always puts the jobs, pay and conditions of its members first and the workers on the West Midlands Metro will continue to receive the union’s complete support.”

Unite says the West Midlands Metro workers’ pay rates are below the equivalent pay of workers in other cities carrying out the same duties. Tram drivers/customer representatives who are currently paid just £21,939, are seeking a pay rate of £27,000. Other grades who are paid £21,537 per annum are seeking a £5,000 increase.