Metro strike action called off

Howdon Metro Station.
Howdon Metro Station.
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A STRIKE planned by Metro staff for Thursday has been suspended following an agreement with the unions.

Talks on a pay dispute have concluded and the three unions have agreed to suspend the proposed industrial action.

If the 24-hour walkout had gone ahead, the service would have been out of action for the Bruce Springsteen concert at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland.

The previous strike on June 7 impacted on the Coldplay concert at the football ground.

Sharon Kelly, customer service director at DB Regio Tyne and Wear, said: “RMT and Unite are balloting their members with a recommendation to accept our pay offer and ASLEF are currently consulting their executive committee. However, suspension of action is definite for all three unions.

“Metro will run as normal on Thursday, June 21, and for concert goers travelling to the Bruce Springsteen concert at the Stadium of Light.

“Employees will receive a 2.1 per cent or £520 pay increase, whichever is the greater, stretching to three depending on current pay.

“They will also receive a £300 payment - this is the 2011-12 ‘Red Book Bonus’ paid in full, plus a one-off bonus payment of £200 for the consolidation of the Red Book Bonus for future years, plus additional travel benefits.

“The pay award to members of staff will be funded through efficiency savings within our organisation and not through any additional contribution from Nexus.”

Director general of Nexus, Bernard Garner, said: “We are pleased that there is an agreement and Metro services can return to normal. Passengers will be relieved.

“This has been a difficult and damaging dispute for the region.

“We will be encouraging all sides to build better and less confrontational long term relationship for the future.”