Manchester

Greater Manchester Ring and Ride workers to strike over pay

Workers at Greater Manchester's Ring and Ride service have voted to hold a strike over pay on Friday, the Unite union has announced.

Ring and Ride provides a door-to-door service for people who find using other public transport difficult.

About 280 drivers, supervisors and clerical staff at Greater Manchester Accessible Transport Limited (GMATL) will be taking part in the action.

Managing director Bernard Rowen said the strike plan was "disappointing".

Unite said its members had already suspended two days of strikes to try to resolve the dispute.

'Fair deal'

It said it had no option but to strike, following a revised deal offering a 10p per hour increase.

Regional officer Mick Chalmers said: "They [members] work hard and all they are asking for is a fair deal for all its workforce."

Mr Rowen said: "We have worked closely with Unite to try to negotiate a way forward, including an offer of an hourly pay increase for drivers and senior drivers.

"However, it is simply not financially possible for Ring and Ride, a publicly-funded organisation, to offer all its staff a substantial pay increase this year, particularly in the current economic climate."

He apologised for the disruption and said a "large proportion" of services were likely to be cancelled. He said passengers already booked on journeys would be contacted.

"We appreciate that many of our customers are heavily reliant on Ring and Ride services to get them from A to B, and we'd like to thank them for their patience and understanding," he added.

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