Metro staff in double-ballot for strike

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A TRANSPORT union is balloting Metro staff over industrial action in two separate disputes.

The RMT is seeking a mandate from staff working for operator DB Regio in rows over pay, and the dismissal of one of its members.

The union has rejected the company’s pay offer for 2013, which it says would be worth 2.3 per cent over two years, and claims driver David Brown was sacked for failing to report a safety incident for which he was not responsible.

The vote will close on Tuesday, June 11.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “All we are asking for is a fair pay increase and improved terms and conditions that reward hard work and loyalty.”

DB Regio Tyne and Wear director of customer services and operations Sharon Kelly said: “We are disappointed the unions have chosen to ballot their members on industrial action without putting our pay offer to them. It’s a very strong offer, particularly in the current economic climate.

“We hope employees will not vote for industrial action, because it will cause disruption to thousands of people who rely on Metro.”