West Midlands Metro workers announce major stoppage in low pay dispute
- Wednesday 28 September 2022
52 days of strike action announced
Workers employed on the West Midland Metro have voted to take substantial strike action in a dispute over low pay.
The first strike will take place on Saturday 15 October and there are a further 52 days of strike action scheduled between then and Saturday 5 January 2023 (see notes to editors for full list).
Unite represents over 176 workers on the West Midlands Metro who recorded a yes vote of 86 per cent on an 84 per cent turnout.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is disgraceful that despite our members undertaking extremely demanding and responsible jobs and ensuring that Birmingham and the Black Country keeps moving, they are paid poverty wages.
“Unite always fights tooth and nail for its members as it ensures that their jobs, pay and conditions are defended and enhanced. Our members at Midlands Metro will receive the union’s unswerving support."
The workers are seeking a minimum pay rate of £27,000 for tram drivers/customer representatives and a £5,000 increase for all other grades, which can start at just £21,537. The tram drivers/customer representatives are currently paid just £21,939, which is one of the lowest rates in the UK for this kind of role.
Despite extensive negotiations, the employer has refused to make an offer which meets the workers’ expectations. It has made an inadequate offer of £25,250 to drivers/customer representatives and just 5.25 per cent to all other grades.
Unite regional officer Sulinder Singh said: “Strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption and delays for metro passengers across Birmingham and the Black Country but this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making.
“Midland Metro has had every opportunity to come forward with a pay offer which tackled low pay and met our members’ expectations but it has chosen not to do so.”
Notes to editors:
West Midland Metro’s hard line on poverty pay means strike action looming which will disrupt Birmingham and Black Country passengers
Strike action will take place on October 15, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 29, 31. November 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 30. December 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. January 1, 2, 5.
For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.
Email: [email protected]
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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.