West Midlands Metro workers announce all-out strike as employers fail to end poverty pay rates
- Tuesday 15 November 2022
Workers employed on the West Midlands Metro have announced that they will begin all-out strike action this month after the employer made a derisory pay offer.
The all-out strike will begin on Monday 28 November and will inevitably cause severe disruption to commuters and shoppers alike throughout the Christmas period.
No to poverty pay
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “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.”
The 170-plus workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have been taking extensive strike action since 15 October.
The decision to move to an all-out strike was taken because despite extensive negotiations at the conciliation service Acas, the employer offered a derisory one off payment of £300 paid in April 2023 to resolve the dispute.
Unite believes that due to the Metro’s convoluted ownership structure it is now incumbent on West Midlands mayor Andy Street to intervene and to ensure fair pay rates are agreed. His absence from the dispute has been marked.
The West Midlands Metro workers’ pay rates are far 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.
Unite regional officer Sulinder Singh said: “All-out strike action will inevitably cause huge disruption throughout the Christmas period but this strike is of the employer’s own making.
“West Midlands Metro has had every opportunity to resolve this dispute but even after extensive negotiations they were only prepared to make a derisory offer which workers found insulting.”
Notes to editors
For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.
Email: [email protected]
Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.