Two days of tram strikes coming down the tracks next week

Drivers on the Croydon Tramlink network will be striking again next Wednesday and Thursday.

The strike on July 13-14 follows a previous two-day stoppage last month in a dispute over pay.

“There has still been no new offer from management to resolve the dispute,” said a statement issued this afternoon by the drivers’ union, ASLEF.

Last month, ASLEF claimed that management at Tram Operations Ltd, the subsidiary company of FirstGroup which operates the network on behalf of Transport for London, had attempted to intimidate drivers from not taking part in the industrial action.

ASLEF says that the strike action got the backing of 99per cent of their members who took part in a ballot earlier this summer.

Today, ASLEF said of TOL’s management, “They understand clearly that with inflation at over 11per cent and no end in sight to price increases, an offer of just 3per cent means a real cut in the value of your wages.

“As fuel and food costs keep rising and the energy bills are set to rise by more than another £1,000 a year, 3per cent just won’t pay the bills.

Rail passenger: FirstGroup’s Matthew Gregory

“Instead of trying to find ways to make progress, management have behaved in an aggressive and provocative way. Being rude to your employees is not the way to try to find a sensible compromise.”

The union said that they are “always ready to talk and negotiate a solution”, adding, “But management have to be ready to make a reasonable offer. Simply repeating the same old mantra about how hard up the company is just won’t wash when everyone knows that FirstGroup, who operate the Trams, are increasing their profits and returned £500million to shareholders last year.

“Why should staff accept just 3per cent when FirstGroup chief executive Matthew Gregory got £840,000 in pay and perks last year? That’s more than most Tramlink employees will earn in their entire career with the company.”

ASLEF say that if there is no progress in talks, they intend to announce further dates for strike action. “It is time for Tramlink management to see sense and make a fair offer on pay,” the union said.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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