Tyne and Wear Metro engineers preparing for week-long strike action over pay
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The engineers are employed by Stadler Rail, which Unite claims has failed to make a fair pay offer despite seeing an increase of 13.4% in their own funding from Nexus.
The union has also stated that Stadler is looking to make “adverse changes” to pay anniversay dates.
As a result, engineering staff started an overtime ban on Monday, November 6, with a new pay offer already been made by Stadler Rail.
Unite has confirmed that this offer is currently under consideration by members but the union has made it clear that unless the offer is accepted, industrial action will start on Monday, November 20, for one week.
Should strike action take place, the union is not ruling out further strikes at later dates, with the ballot on the new pay offer set to close at 12pm on Thursday, November 9.
Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Stadler received an above inflation increase in funding from the Nexus transport group which is publicly funded.
“Yet it is refusing to offer a decent pay rise to our members who do highly skilled and safety critical work.
“Stadler need to take a long hard look at itself and think about our members who keep the trains running on the Newcastle Metro.”
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Craig Cuggy, Unite regional officer, has warned that the union will not hesitate to take strike action should the pay offer be rejected.
He added: “Our members have been forced into this action by an employer that is hoarding the increase in funding it was given from the public purse.
“Workers are considering a new offer from Stadler but if rejected we won’t hesitate to head to the picket line in the fight for fair pay.”
It is unclear at this time how Tyne and Wear Metro services will be impacted should the strike action go ahead.