Tyne & Wear Metro unions to ballot workers over strikes
Trade union members working on the Tyne and Wear Metro will vote on strike action over a pay increase offer.
If members of the RMT, Unite and Aslef unions walk out, it could cause service disruptions.
DB Regio, which operates the metro on behalf of Nexus, has offered employees a 1.4% basic pay increase, or £420 for staff earning under £25,000.
This proposal has been derided as "an outrage and a disgrace" by RMT relief organiser Craig Johnston.
Staff were also offered free tickets for Grand Central Trains and longer lunch breaks for engineers, however this benefit would be offset by an extension to the length of the working day.
The threat of strikes follows a breakdown in talks between employees of DB Regio and cleaning services provider Churchill Services and the respective companies.
A final decision over industrial action is not expected for several weeks.
DB Regio is a subsidiary of German firm Deutsche Bahn, Europe's largest railway operator and infrastructure owner, and has operated the metro on behalf of Nexus since April 2010.