Hucknall and Bulwell tram users face upheaval during second day of strike action
Hucknall and Bulwell tram users are facing disruption as staff are set to strike for a second time on Tuesday (November 23) over pay.
Negotiations have been ongoing for some time between Nottingham Express Transit (NET) bosses and the GMB union, which represents drivers and other workers on the network.
A pay deal couldn’t be reached earlier in the month and all services were suspended on the line on Saturday November 6.
Now a second day of industrial action is to take place. As well as drivers, control-room workers and technicians are also involved in the action after a 3 percent pay rise for last year and a 3% rise for this year was rejected.
A GMB spokesman said: "It's deeply disappointing that it's come to this, as this strike was completely avoidable. If company top brass had reached out with a fair pay offer for these key workers from the beginning, no strike action would have been necessary and this disruption could have been avoided.
“Mid-week disruption on the network is completely avoidable. Nottingham’s tram workers are the lifeblood of the city, keeping businesses, families and working people moving.
"It’s time they got the reward and recognition they deserve from company top brass. Public support from Nottingham residents has been overwhelming and we would like to put on record out thanks to them on behalf of our members.”
But a statement released by NET reads: “We would like to sincerely apologise in advance to customers for any further interruption to services resulting from industrial action by members of the GMB union.
“Despite talks continuing last week, and a further improved offer which represents an 11 per cent pay increase for its members, we are disappointed that the union still intends to go ahead with planned strike action on Tuesday, November 23.
“This latest offer would bring a tram driver’s salary to £28,685 by June next year as part of a proposed deal that includes a 3% increase for 2020, backdated and paid immediately and a 4% increase for 2021 backdated to June 1. A further 4% pay rise in June 2022 is also on the table and we have also offered to enhance a number of employee benefits.
“Throughout the dispute, every effort has been made to reach a fair settlement that recognises the hard work of our colleagues whilst being realistic and sustainable in the current economic climate.
“While we will make every effort to ensure customers have access to alternative means of public transport, the GMB’s actions next week will cause significant inconvenience for the thousands of people who rely on the tram network every day and risk jeopardising the network’s recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We still hope that the union and its members will reconsider their position, comply with the General Collective Bargaining Agreement that we have in place and avoid further disruption for the tram network, its customers and the people of Nottingham.”