Tyne & Wear

No Tyne and Wear Metro trains during strike

Metro sign
Image caption The Metro will be shut on Friday and Saturday

Tyne and Wear Metro bosses have warned there will be no services during a planned two-day strike by drivers.

Friday and Saturday's action comes after RMT members rejected a deal of a 15% pay increase and changes to rotas.

Metro operator Nexus said it would not run a replacement bus service and the "callous" action would disrupt passengers and Christmas shoppers.

The RMT said its members had not rejected the pay offer and the dispute was over terms and conditions.

The union said there was too much uncertainty with shift patterns and it wanted drivers to have more static rest days.

Michael Thompson, from the RMT, said: "The reality of the situation is that my members have been expected to sell their terms and conditions and amend their contracts to finance these proposals."

But Metro Services Director Chris Carson said: "This is totally unjustified strike action by the RMT union.

"It is going to be hugely disruptive for the tens of thousands of working people and local businesses who rely on Metro services.

"This action shows a callous disregard for passengers, and all the more so as Christmas approaches.

"Nexus met with union for six hours of talks where we offered further concessions, yet they walked away without an agreement."

Stagecoach has announced it will operate extra buses on its half-hourly X24 and X34 routes during the strike days.

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