Unite announces Manchester Metrolink strike action during Peter Kay show at AO Arena and UFC at Co-op Live

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Unite the union has announced three days of strike action on Manchester’s Metrolink network. This comes following members being offered a “woeful pay offer”. 

Unite members who work on the Metrolink will be out on strike from July 25 to 27. This is set to coincide with some big events in Manchester. Drivers, engineers, business support and customer service staff will be taking strike action. The action will take place during Peter Kay’s show at AO Arena and UFC at Co-op Live. 

Unite members have been left ‘angry’ following Metrolink's pay offer of 4.5%. According to the union, members want guarantees of above-inflation rises over the next three years due to accepting less than inflation (RPI) last year and a reduction in the pay progression scales within the drivers and customer service roles.

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "It's reprehensible how companies worth billions like Keolis and Amey can value their workers so poorly while lining the pockets of their shareholders. This is intolerable and our members will not accept it. Unite’s commitment to protecting the jobs, pay and conditions of its members is absolute and our Metrolink workers will have the union’s total support throughout this dispute.”

Unite regional officer Colin Hayden added: "This dispute is entirely the making of Metrolink and their parent companies. They can easily afford to pay our members a decent salary after years of real terms pay cuts. Our members voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action which shows the level of anger and frustration. I urge Metrolink, their parent companies and TfGM to come back with an improved offer rather than continue to demonstrate how little they value their own staff and the communities of Greater Manchester with the current woeful pay offer.”

Damien Chabas, Managing Director of Keolis Amey Metrolink said: “We have been notified of the outcome of the ballot and planned strike days, and while we are disappointed pay talks have so far been unsuccessful, we remain committed to meaningful discussions with Unite.  

“We strongly believe our offer through to 2026 provides stability to our employees, security against inflation increases, and is a fair deal, with this year’s offer being an above inflation increase. There was also an offer of £0.5m investment to address the historical pay structure raised by Unite, however this was rejected by them. 

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“We have a positive track record of fair pay negotiations because we care about our people. Since the start of the current contract in 2017 our employees have received total cumulative pay increases of more than 30%, with some employees receiving over 38%.  Last year was an exceptional year for inflation, yet our employees still received a pay increase of 6.5% plus a £1,000 one off payment, amounting to an approximate 9% increase.  

“We remain committed to further discussions to resolve this pay issue, protect jobs and ensure the long-term financial sustainability of Metrolink.”

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