The planned four day strike due to take place on Manchester Metrolink between Friday 7th and Monday 10th June has been called off after talks between KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM) and the Unite Union. This may not need the complete end to the dispute though as the new pay and conditions proposal will go to a fresh ballot of members.
The dispute came about after different pay increases were offered to different workers at Metrolink and customer support, engineering and business support staff were due to strike between 2100 on Friday 7th June and 0559 on Monday 10th June.
The new offer hasn’t been made public but both KAM and Unite have said it has come following an intensive weekend of talks. Unite members will now vote on the new offer with an outcome to this ballot due by the end of the next week.
Danny Vaughan, Head of Metrolink at TfGM, said: “It’s good news that a revised pay offer has been agreed between KAM and Unite officials, I am grateful for the efforts of all parties to reach this point. The new pay deal is still subject to a workplace ballot – but it does mean that there will no longer be any industrial action around what will be a very busy weekend for Greater Manchester. I am sure this will be a huge relief for all Metrolink passengers.”
Steve Davies, Unite regional officer, commented: “We had intensive talks over the bank holiday weekend with the management and we have now hammered out a package of proposals that we are putting to our members. We won’t be revealing the details of the new offer until our members have had time to consider and vote upon them. The result of the ballot should be known at the end of next week.”
Aline Frantzen, Managing Director at KAM, added: “We concluded pay talks on Monday 27th May following extensive discussions and agreed a revised offer for each bargaining group involved – customer support, engineering and business support. This has been achieved through the tireless work of Unite representatives and KAM’s managers, with the support of ACAS, to deliver the best proposal for everyone. Over the next few days, KAM and Unite will endeavour to communicate all three offers to the relevant bargaining groups. Unite will put the offers to a vote through a workplace ballot, in which Unite has indicated they will strongly recommend it is accepted. In the meantime, Unite has agreed to suspend any industrial action to await the outcome of the workplace ballot.”
A normal Metrolink service is now due to operate over the weeknd of 8th and 9th June. This is expected to be a busy weekend including the Parklife concerts at Heaton Park and the news that a full service will run is likely to be a sense of relief to all concerned.