West Midlands Metro strike: Union urges Mayor Andy Street to solve tram dispute

Unite union members are urging West Midlands mayor Andy Street to help find a resolution to end strike action

Union bosses are urging West Midlands mayor Andy Street to help find a resolution to the West Midlands Metro dispute which is seeing tram workers take strike action.

Tram strikes are currently taking place in the West Midlands, causing travel disruption throughout the region. 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.

In a letter, Lee Barron, Regional Secretary of the Trades Union Congress in the Midlands, states that the workers on the Metro are on strike for a ‘fair and just pay award’ and that ‘none of the workers have taken the decision to strike lightly’ with all the workers remaining ‘committed to finding a resolution to the dispute.’

Mr Barron said that the “ability for the West Midlands Combined Authority, and you as Mayor, to help in finding that resolution, is there for everybody to see.”

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.

West Midlands Metro

When are strikes taking place?

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 also ttok place on Tuesday (8November), and on Thursday 10 November, as well as tomorrow Saturday, November 12.

On these 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.