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Workers at Tyne and Wear Metro to ballot on possible strike action

Metro train in station2

11:29am 25th January 2018

Workers on the Tyne and Wear Metro system are going to vote on whether to go on strike in a row over pay.

The RMT union says its members employed by NEMOL are classed as local government staff - so are affected by the 1% pay cap.

They have already rejected the 1% on offer in a referendum ballot and as the employer, NEMOL, has refused to move, RMT has now declared a formal dispute and preparations are underway for a ballot.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

"We have listened intently and considered the views of our NEMOL membership, who through democratic channels have made their position abundantly clear that they are prepared to fight for pay justice irrespective of being caught up in the cross-hairs of the Government's 1% pay cap."

"With inflation running at 4% our members should not be forced through centrally imposed austerity measures to take a hit on their standards of living just to bail out a Government which seems to have plenty of cash available when it comes to looking after mates in the private train companies and beyond."

"Preparations for the ballot are underway and RMT remains available for talks."
 
A Nexus spokesman said: 

"We have worked hard with all our trades unions to agree a pay settlement which provides a fair deal for staff within the limits of public sector pay restraint by which Nexus is bound.  We are still talking to the RMT to understand and address the issues its members have with our offer in order to avoid a ballot for industrial action."

It is understood 'NEMOL' staff who previously worked for the train operator DB Regio,  transferred into Nexus employment on April 1st last year and includes train drivers and customer services staff.

It's thought the dispute would involve only a minority of people working on the Metro system, as other unions have accepted the pay offer.

It's not yet known when the ballot will take place.

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