06 Jul 2018
Further strike action planned
Stagecoach Supertram today accused the Unite union of "deliberately targeting" young people and one of the biggest boosts to the Sheffield economy by calling strike action from 20-22 July.
The planned disruption, for a 72-hour period from 01:00 hrs on 20 July, is in addition to strikes planned on Monday 9 and Thursday 12 July next week.
The new strike will cover the entire period of the city's largest music festival, Tramlines, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has an economic impact of £9m according to previous research by Sheffield Hallam University’s Business School.
Bosses at Supertram have pledged to run a bus replacement service to help people travel during the strike on Monday, supplemented by a limited number of trams where possible. Plans are being developed for Thursday's strike.
Transport plans are still being developed for the strikes later in the month and Supertram is working with all partners, including the festival organisers, to see what arrangements can be put in place.
But Tim Bilby, Managing Director of Supertram, said: "Unite has deliberately targeted young people and the Tramlines festival with this planned strike action. It clearly has no thought for the impact on local people and the local economy, which gets a £9million benefit from the Tramlines festival every year.
"The union is misleading Supertram employees into thinking this will result in an improved pay offer. In fact, we have to be very clear that it will have the opposite effect.
"We have provided a very healthy pay deal, which is higher than the average pay settlement in the UK economy today, during a period in which we are not making profit due to the effects of rail replacement work. Strike action will reduce the money available to fund the pay deal and we will have no option but to withdraw the current offer if any strike action goes ahead."
Supertram employees were offered a new three-year deal on Monday which effectively increases the hourly rates over the first two years of 6.8% for conductors and 5.8% for drivers. This offer incorporates, as suggested by the union, a reduction in the contracted weekly hours.
Visit our Strike news story for information about the services available on Monday 9 July