Metrolink staff to strike over Parklife festival weekend

Metrolink tram, Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The strike is planned between 7 to 10 June.

More than 200 workers are to strike for four days next month on Greater Manchester's Metrolink tram service.

The walkout by Unite members over pay increases looks set to cause chaos over the weekend of the city's sell-out Parklife music festival.

The workers, who include network controllers, staff that check tickets and engineering and business support, will strike from 21:00 BST on 7 June to 05:59 on 10 June.

Metrolink has been asked to comment.

Around 80,000 people are expected over the three-day festival in the city's Heaton Park, with many of them expected to travel by tram.

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.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Parklife festival goers face travel 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."

He added: "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 festival goers - that's why we are calling for urgent talks with the management to reach a fair settlement before the bands start playing."

A strike over the August bank holiday by drivers was averted after a 10% pay deal was agreed.

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