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30 May 2012, 09:05
Workers on the Tyne and Wear Metro are to go on strike in June over three separate disputes over pay and other issues.
The Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) announced 24 hour walkouts on June 7th and 21th, while cleaners on the transport system will strike for 48 hours from 10.30pm on June 10th.
The union said the action followed talks with operating company DB Regio which failed to resolve a pay row, while cleaners were facing a wage freeze and are in dispute over allegations of victimisation of a colleague.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:
"RMT cleaners have shown that they will not put up with victimisation and bullying and poverty pay and the DB Regio members have given a resounding no to attacks on pay and conditions.
They have delivered the strongest possible mandate for action in three separate ballots and we know that the action will prove to be rock solid.
In the face of the insulting pay offer of 1.3% offer for DB Regio, the attempt to impose poverty pay on the cleaners and the outrageous attack on one of our members we have no option but to take action in defence of standards of living in a climate free from victimisation.
It wasn't transport workers who created this economic crisis and we will not sit back and wait for our members to take the hit in their pockets."
The date of the first strike, June 7th, is the day Coldplay will play their sell-out concert at Sunderland's Stadium of Light.
A spokesman for Nexus, which owns and manages Metro, said:
"Nexus is working hard at the highest level to bring both sides together so they can resolve this dispute.
We urge unions and DBTW, which operates Metro trains and stations under contract to us, to continue talks.
Strike action around the Stadium of Light concerts would have an impact on struggling local businesses, people's livelihoods and the image of our region on days when we should be welcoming thousands of visitors from across the UK."