A call for constructive pay talks was made this afternoon (July 31) in the Sheffield supertram pay dispute, as a further eight days of strike action were announced.
The call came from Unite which has been trying to convene talks under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas for Thursday (August 2), but, so far, there has been no response from the bosses at South Yorkshire Supertram Ltd.
About 200 supertram drivers and conductors working on the 48-stop light rail tram system have already taken five days of strike action in the dispute over a ‘26 pence an hour’ pay offer.
The strike days are August 18,20,22,28 and 30 , as well as on September 1 . There will also be a 48 hour strike on August 24. All strikes will start at 1am.
“We have strained every sinew to set up constructive talks with the company – we are aiming for Thursday afternoon under the Acas umbrella – but we have had no response from the management to our continued overtures,” said Unite regional coordinating officer Steve Clark.
“Hopefully, the people of Sheffield will see which side is making every effort to resolve this dispute,” she added. “The bosses are playing hardball and it is the commuting public that will suffer travel misery as a result.
“Our door is open 24/7 to resolve this dispute before the next round of strike action is due.”
The supertram workers have overwhelmingly rejected the latest revised three-year pay offer from May 2018. Unite said that when the details were analysed it amounted to an increase of just 26p an hour and the union has accused the management of ‘playing a game of smoke and mirrors’.
Unite members voted by 91 per cent for strike action and by 95 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.