Tram workers in the West Midlands have voted to strike over pay. Unite the Union represents over 176 workers on the West Midlands Metro who recorded a yes vote of 86 per cent on an 84 per cent turnout.
The West Midland Metro network stretches across Birmingham and into Wolverhampton. Unite balloted its members who undertake roles as drivers, customer service representatives, engineers, infrastructure workers and other staff.
Unite say the workers are seeking a minimum pay rate of £27,000 for tram drivers/customer representatives and a £5,000 increase for all other grades, which can start at £21,537. The tram drivers/customer representatives are currently paid £21,939.
When are the strikes taking place this November and will any services be running?
Tram staff have so far walked out on October 15, 18, 20 and 22 and on, Tuesday 1, Wednesday 2, Thursday 3 and Friday 4 November. On these dates, services only ran between Wolverhampton St George’s and Bull Street.
Strike action is also taking place today (8 November), and on Thursday 10 November, as well as Saturday, November 12.
On thes dates:
- Trams will operate up to every 15 minutes between Wolverhampton St George’s and Bull Street only
- There will be no services between Bull Street and Edgbaston Village
Some earlier and later trams will be available on parts of the route as trams leave and return to the depot at Wednesbury Parkway. Customers are advised to check the timetable for full details.
According to Transport for West Midlands:
- Services will run from 7.30am until 6pm
- There will be trams running up to every 15 minutes
- Trams will run between Wolverhampton St George’s and Bull Street.
- There will be no services between Bull Street and Edgbaston Village.
What has unite said about the strike?
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘It is disgraceful that despite our members undertaking extremely demanding and responsible jobs and ensuring that Birmingham and the Black Country keeps moving, they are paid poverty wages.
“Unite always fights tooth and nail for its members as it ensures that their jobs, pay and conditions are defended and enhanced. Our members at Midlands Metro will receive the union’s unswerving support.”