Metrolink tram drivers to strike after 'pitiful' pay offer
Tram drivers in Manchester are set to strike on 25 and 26 September, after 97 per cent voted in favour of walkouts in protest at what their union Unite has described as a 'pitiful' pay offer. The strikes will coincide with two sporting events. Manchester United is playing at home against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday the 25th, while the Great Manchester Run takes place the following day, when competitors and spectators have been advised to use public transport because of road closures in central Manchester. More strikes have been called for 10 and 24 October if there is no settlement in the meantime. Unite regional officer Dave Roberts said: 'Metrolink tram workers, who continued to work throughout the pandemic, are simply not going to accept a frankly pitiful one per cent pay deal. Unite has been seeking to resolve this matter for six months without success and our members now believe that as a last resort they have no other option but to take strike action. Strike action and the inevitable disruption that will bring can still be averted if management returns to the negotiating table with a realistic pay offer.' Operator KAM said it was 'disappointed', and continued: 'We will continue to engage with Unite to work towards an agreement that prevents any strike action, and the subsequent impact on services.' TfGM’s head of Metrolink Danny Vaughan added: 'I would appeal to both sides to work together to find a resolution, while there is still time. Our priority will be to limit disruption as much as possible and we will work with KAM and other transport operators to make sure people can still enjoy these events, even if Metrolink services are not running on those days. Plans are still being developed, but we are committed to letting people know what services will be running, if any, and what alternative transport options will be available in the event of any strike as soon as possible.'