Manchester Metrolink workers to strike over June weekend over pay
- Friday 26 May 2023
Workers employed on the Manchester Metrolink tram system will strike over the weekend of June 10 and 11 following a woeful pay offer from the company.
Huge yes vote
The 600 plus members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, recorded a 95 per cent yes vote on a 84 per cent turnout in favour of strike action.
The dispute is a result of Metrolink only being prepared to make a pay offer of five per cent for a 15 month period. With the real inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at 11.4 per cent, this amounts to a very substantial real terms pay cut.
Vastly wealthy multinational companies
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Metrolink is operated by vastly wealthy multinational companies that can fully afford to make our members a fair pay offer but they have chosen not to.
“Our members at Metrolink are frontline workers who play a vital role in keeping Manchester moving. It is incomprehensible that Metrolink thinks it is in anyway acceptable to further suppress their pay when workers are struggling with a cost of living crisis.
“Unite is now entirely dedicated to defending and enhancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the workforce at Metrolink will receive the union’s unflinching support.”
The strike action will coincide with the city’s Parklife festival. Other events that will be disrupted by the strike action include Soccer Aid at Old Trafford, Roger Waters at the AO Arena and The Weekend at the Etihad Stadium.
Metrolink is operated and maintained by a joint venture company Keolis/Amey, which holds the contract to run the Transport for Greater Manchester-owned service. The company’s latest accounts filed at Companies House for 2022 reveal that it recorded a profit.
Metrolink’s management has refused to enter into further negotiations on pay since the end of March. As a result of their intransigence, Unite balloted its members for industrial action.
Starting pay rates at Metrolink are very low. Customer service relations (inspectors) have a starting salary of just £20,000, drivers salaries begin at £22,000 and engineers start at £26,000.
Metrolink at fault
Unite regional officer Colin Hayden said: “Strike action is set to cause severe disruption throughout Manchester but the blame for this dispute is entirely Metrolink’s. It has not even been prepared to negotiate on a pay offer that was never going to be acceptable to our members.”
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.