Greater Manchester Metrolink Tram Workers’ Strike Called Off Days Before Parklife Festival

greater manchester metrolink tram workers' strike called off days before parklife festival

greater manchester metrolink tram workers’ strike called off days before parklife festival

Tram strikes have been cancelled days before they were due to cause chaos while the Parklife festival and other major events take place across Greater Manchester. Metrolink operator KeolisAmey has offered the staff a new pay deal.

It comes after Mayor Andy Burnham held discussions with union representatives to put an end to the planned industrial action for this weekend.

The strikes were set to start on Saturday and continue through to Sunday, while the Weeknd performs at the Etihad Stadium, Soccer Aid returns to Old Trafford, Roger Waters appears at the AO Arena, and the two-day Parklife festival happens at Heaton Park.

Over 95% of union members at Metrolink who participated in the ballot supported the industrial action. It comes after a 5% pay rise was offered for a 15-month period. But trade union Unite called the offer a “very significant real terms pay cut”.

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The latest undisclosed offer made following talks brokered by the Greater Manchester mayor will now be put to a vote by members. If it is rejected, new strike dates would be announced. Meanwhile, the scheduled industrial action for this weekend has been suspended.

Burnham offered to meet the union representatives last week, but asked in return, the planned strikes be called off. However, at the time Unite said its members would go ahead with the industrial action as no new offer had been received.

The mayor had previously said tram drivers were offered above-inflation pay rises in the past few years, adding the 5% hike was “not bad”.

He even highlighted the impact of a fall in passenger numbers since the pandemic on the Metrolink budget, adding the city-region was yet to receive any cash from the government to address the shortfall.

The creation of the Bee Network is another issue affecting Transport for Greater Manchester’s finances, Burnham continued. It’s a new London-style public transport system expected to be in operation from September onwards.

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