Metro strike: This is what the union has said as drivers walk out after dispute over pay

As Metro drivers walk out in a two-day strike, this is what union RMT have to say about the industrial action.

Tyne and Wear Metro
Tyne and Wear Metro

Members of the RMT union decided to take the industrial action as part of an ongoing pay row.

No services will run across the entire network this Friday, December 20, and Saturday, December 21.

The staff say the salaries for similar roles are paid more at rival companies and have rejected an offer which would see their pay rise to £46,000.

Nexus offered train crew a 15% rise in pay over two years, on top of cost-of-living increases, along with improved shift patterns which is says would bring Metro’s train crew salary up to £46,000 per year by April 2022.

However the Union has said this still falls short of industry standard and staff are being expected to work overtime and are unable to take annual leave.

As the strike begins, this is what the union has to say about the decision.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Our members are standing rock solid this morning and the wholesale shutdown of services is entirely due to Nexus who have made no effort to resolve this dispute.

“The company attitude shows nothing but contempt for our reasonable and justifiable claim which would provide flexibility for the introduction of the new rolling stock whilst seeing a fair increase in salary levels and a reduction in the working week for Traincrew grades. Management have rejected our proposals out of hand claiming there is no money which is total nonsense.

“Instead of trying to reach an agreement in this dispute the company have instead used their energy and money to use lawyers to try to challenge the legitimacy of our ballot and to turn up the heat. This in addition to the punitive measures where they have started to decline lieu days clearly demonstrates an appalling attitude from the company towards our members who are quite rightly incensed.

“RMT will not allow this sheer contempt for our members’ aspirations to continue and that is why RMT Traincrew members at Nexus are taking industrial action for 48 hours from one o’clock this morning.

“The union remains available for talks.”