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Metrolink staff announce June strike dates in two-day walkout

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Parklife festival-goers are set to face transport headaches this year after the dates for the Metrolink strike were confirmed.

Unite, the trade union for Metrolink staff, has confirmed this morning (May 26) that a two-day walkout will go ahead over the weekend of June 10 and 11. They say they are taking the action 'following a woeful pay offer from the company'.

An overwhelming majority — 95 percent — of more than 600 unionised staff voted to strike, the body says. Currently, both the firm and the union are locked in a dispute over pay.

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Today's confirmation of the strike dates means Parklife festival will be heavily impacted. The event, which is the country's largest metropolitan festival, is held annually in Heaton Park, and usually puts special measures in place to get fans to and from the city centre via the tram.

Other events that will be disrupted by the strike action include Soccer Aid at Old Trafford, Roger Waters at the AO Arena and The Weeknd at the Etihad Stadium. The operator said yesterday (May 25), should any strike action go ahead, services would not operate.

Rob Cox, HR Director at operator KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM), said: "I have contacted Unite asking them to meet with me. I urge them to accept this invitation.

"From January to March 2023 we met with Unite on 12 occasions before making our final offer of five per cent for 15 months. After rejecting our offer, Unite took the decision to ballot for strike action rather than reaching out for further talks.

"We recognised the valuable contribution made by employees by increasing all salaries by 7.8 per cent in 2022."

Fans now face a headache in getting to and from Parklife (Image: Adam Vaughan)

Confirming the dates, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "Our members at Metrolink are frontline workers who play a vital role in keeping Manchester moving. It is incomprehensible that Metrolink thinks it is in any way acceptable to further suppress their pay when workers are struggling with a cost of living crisis.

"Unite is now entirely dedicated to defending and enhancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the workforce at Metrolink will receive the union's unflinching support."

Unite regional officer Colin Hayden added: "Strike action is set to cause severe disruption throughout Manchester but the blame for this dispute is entirely Metrolink's. It has not even been prepared to negotiate on a pay offer that was never going to be acceptable to our members."

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