Tyne and Wear Metro strikes: Engineers to walk-out over ‘miserable’ pay rise despite huge profits
Engineers on the Tyne and Wear Metro want better pay rises and are ready to walk-out in strike action.
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Tyne and Wear Metro engineers are set to strike with immediate action in a bid for better pay from employer Stadler Rail Service Ltd.
More than 50 engineers will stop working overtime from today, Friday, October 14. Dates are yet to be confirmed, but trade union Unite has confirmed that they intend to take strike action that is likely to impact services.
In a release, the Union claimed that Stadler makes a £119 million profit but that engineers had only received a "miserable" 4% pay rise. Unite calls this a "real terms pay cut" when the 12.3% inflation rate is taken into account.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Stadler wants its Tyne and Wear engineers to take a pay cut as prices rocket, while it continues to rake in huge profits. This is not acceptable to Unite. Stadler brings in enormous profits every year, so there is no reason why it should not give its Metro workers a fair piece of the pie. Our members have Unite’s full backing in their fight for a fair pay rise.”
In October 2020, Stadler won the £300 million contract to build 42 new Metro trains, rebuild the Gosforth depot and maintain the Nexus Tyne and Wear train stock for 35 years. These deals led to a reported £119 million in 2021. Engineers have been offered a one-off payment of £1,000, but workers want a bigger rise in basic pay.
Unite regional coordinating officer Suzanne Reid said: “Our members are working harder and harder but their wages are worth less and less. The sheer number of extra hours worked to keep on top of the Metro maintenance means the overtime ban will cause disruption. But this is entirely the fault of Stadler, which can well afford to put forward a reasonable pay rise but is refusing to do so. The company must table an offer our members can accept.”