Tram drivers to strike over pay

Croydon
Tram drivers have voted in favour of strike action over pay.

The
80 drivers want an increase in pay because they claim the system is exceeding
expected passenger numbers.

Six
strike dates are planned starting next Tuesday and continuing throughout April.

The
Transport and General Workers Union members are demanding a pay rate of £11.75
an hour, a reduction in the working week of two hours to 36 hours, and an extra
five days holiday a year.

Croydon
Train Link has offered drivers a 6 per cent pay increase, which would take pay
from £8.05 to £8.50 an hour.

"We
want to resolve this dispute around the negotiating table but we have some way
to go yet. This vote should send a clear message to the employers that the
drivers are strong in their resolve," said Peter Kavanagh, T&G
regional industrial organiser.

"The
Croydon Tram system is a great success and we want to work with the employer to
ensure it continues to grow. However, with pay rates low relative to the
bendy-bus drivers and the Tube drivers, due recognition must be given to how we
keep drivers once they are trained.

"The
T&G is committed to developing the system but we warned that unless pay
improved, there would be problems with recruitment and retention.

"The
tram service is still in its modern-day infancy and we want to make sure the
drivers’ value is properly reflected from the start."

By Paul Nelson

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