Sunderland MPs hit out over Metro strike concert threat

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MPs have demanded action after Metro workers chose to strike during this summer’s gigs at the Stadium of Light.

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland South, said she is worried about the planned action by the RMT union and how it will hit the gigs.

Julie Elliott new Labour Party MP for Sunderland Central.

Julie Elliott new Labour Party MP for Sunderland Central.

With Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen set to come to town, the Labour politician says the two days are very important for the city’s economy.

She said: “The two dates selected by the unions are really important for Sunderland’s economy, coinciding with the Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen concerts.

“The Metro will be crucial in ensuring that both local people and visitors can get to and from the concerts, so I sincerely hope that the unions and management can get back around the table, work out a fair deal and avoid the strikes.”

Another MP from the region also echoed those sentiments, calling for negotiations to take place.

Julie Elliott, MP for Sunderland Central, said finding a solution was a real necessity.

She said: “This is a matter between the employer and the trade unions and I encourage all sides to get around the negotiating table as a matter of urgency.”

RMT drivers for the Metro earn a reported average annual wage of £37,000, including overtime.

But the latest dispute centres around a pay offer of 1.3 per cent which they rejected.

They also rejected a deal offered by bosses that would have seen a further payment for lower-paid staff.

As a result the union said they would go on strike on June 7 and June 21, the dates that Coldplay and Springsteen are set to play in Sunderland.

Metro cleaners are also set to go on strike between 10.30pm on June 10 and 10.30pm June 12.

Yesterday a spokesman for Nexus, which manages Metro, said they were working hard to bring both sides together so they could resolve the dispute.

Train operator DBTW said they would give an announcement confirming what services would run on Thursday, June 7.

Twitter: @tomwhite7