Over 340 Unite members working for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink will start voting on whether to take industrial action over pay from today (July 20) in a dispute which could see drivers on the tram network strike over the August bank holiday during Manchester Pride.
The ballot for industrial action closes on Thursday, August 9. Drivers are angry over a ‘substandard’ pay offer and pay levels that see them earning up to £7,000 less per year than counterparts in other cities across the UK doing the same job.
Unite is urging Metrolink bosses to table a revised offer during talks next week which are being facilitated by the conciliation service Acas.
“Greater Manchester Metrolink tram drivers put up with a lot in keeping Manchester on the move,” said Unite regional officer Steve Davies. “We have seen increased anti-social behaviour and violence directed at drivers and shockingly bricks thrown at drivers’ cabs.
“Metrolink drivers have decided enough is enough,” he added. “Our members feel its time their hard work is valued with fair pay and a pay deal that addresses pay levels which sees them earn up to £7,000 less than tram drivers in other UK cities for doing the same job.
“Our members are aware of the disruption that a potential strike could have over Manchester’s Pride weekend. We would urge Metrolink bosses to use the window of opportunity that talks next week provide and table a revised pay offer that better meets the aspirations of our members.”