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Manchester tram drivers gain improved pay offer

8 June 2023

The tram network is popular and essential for the people of Manchester. Photo Workers.

Tram drivers at Manchester Metrolink have won an improved pay offer from the company following planned strike action.

The strike was to have taken place over the weekend of 10 and 11 June. It would have affected travel to a number of music events and other entertainment in Greater Manchester over the weekend.

Pay cut

The 600 plus workers were originally offered a 5 per cent pay rise for a 15-month period. Their union, Unite described that a “very substantial real terms pay cut”.

‘Metrolink initially refused to revise the offer.’

Metrolink initially refused to talk about any revision to that offer, but changed tack after the ballot. An overwhelming majority of workers at the company voted to take strike action – 95 per cent on an 84 per cent turnout.

The strike action has been suspended while workers are balloted on the new offer. If it is rejected new strike dates could be announced.

Metrolink is owned by GMPTE, but is managed and operated as a joint venture between Keolis (majority owned by SNCF, the French state-owned rail company) and Amey (acquired by two private equity firms last year, it also operates the Docklands Light Railway in London).

Unite members working for First Manchester buses are balloting for strike action in pursuit of their pay claim. The union says First is paying less than other companies in the area and as a consequence the shortage of drivers and overwork will get worse.