Metrolink workers will strike over Parklife weekend

 Metrolink workers will strike over Parklife weekend

UPDATE: As reported by The Manchester Tab, a pay offer has been made to the Union and the strike over Parklife weekend will no longer take place. Transport will be unaffected.

Metrolink tram workers will strike for four days from Friday June 7th, clashing with Parklife which takes place on Saturday and Sunday.

Union bosses said the industrial action could bring tram services to a halt over the Parklife weekend. A Metrolink line runs through Heaton Park where the festival takes place and a ‘Parklife Travel Pass’ includes both shuttle bus and tram services from the city centre.

An officer for the Unite union said “travel disruption is on the cards for festivalgoers” and they are calling for urgent talks to “reach a settlement before the bands start playing.”

More than 200 workers will strike as 80,000 people are expected to attend sold-out Parklife over the weekend. Unite claims Keolis Amey Metrolink Ltd, which runs the service on behalf of Transport for Greater Manchester, has offered pay rises of between 1% and 5% depending on which group a worker belongs to.

Metrolink queue after concert

The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City, will host a Muse gig on the Saturday of the festival which could add to any disruption.

Unite regional officer Steve Davies said: “The company has adopted a ‘divide and rule’ policy in offering different pay rises to separate groups which we won’t tolerate.

“We are seeking a substantial pay rise for all our non-driver members. We are calling out the network controllers across the 62-mile system and without them the whole network will grind to a halt very quickly.

“We appreciate that the strike action is taking place during the popular Parklife festival and travel disruption is on cards for festivalgoers – that’s why we are calling for urgent talks with the management to reach a fair settlement before the bands start playing.”

Headliners include Cardi B, George Ezra and The Streets. Solange, Stefflon Don, Blossoms, Disclosure and Mark Ronson will also appear.

The Manchester Evening News reported Aline Frantzen, managing director at KeolisAmey Metrolink said: “We’re disappointed that Unite have notified us of their intention to take strike action during Parklife weekend and we’re sorry for the disruption that will cause to customers if they go ahead with a strike.

“KAM is doing all we can to put robust contingency plans in place for alternative transport and we will give clear information to customers as early as possible.

“We have already held discussions with Unite, supported by ACAS, in an attempt to find a resolution and we remain committed to the success of these talks.”

Transport for Greater Manchester said: “Since January the Metrolink operator (KeolisAmey Metrolink) has been in pay talks with a number of staff bargaining groups. We have been advised by Unite the Union that following a ballot, staff have voted in favour of industrial action on the weekend of Parklife.

“Talks are continuing and we (TfGM) would encourage Unite and KAM to find a mutually acceptable solution. We are aware that a number of major events are due to take place this weekend, and that industrial action will potentially have a significant impact for fans travelling to these.

“TfGM’s primary concern is minimising any potential impact on customers and ensuring contingency plans are in place and communicated to customers well in advance, should industrial action go ahead.

“This work is ongoing and we will continue to update this page as the situation progresses.”

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Image credit: N Chadwick / ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )