Talks in bid to stop Metro strikes on Sunderland Coldplay gig date

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LAST-MINUTE talks were under way today in a bid to avert a Metro strike scheduled to hit this Thursday’s Coldplay concert at the Stadium of Light.

Union leaders were in discussions in the hopes of finding a resolution to the problem which could affect thousands of gig-goers.

Drivers with the RMT union sparked anger when they turned down a 1.3 per cent pay offer and planned industrial action to coincide with the Coldplay concert and the Bruce Springsteen gig later this month.

Should the strike go ahead, thousands heading for the Stadium of Light will be faced with problems making their way to and from the concerts, which are expected to bring millions into the city’s economy.

Dave Martin, 38, of South Hylton, had been planning to get to Thursday’s gig on the Metro.

He said: “I only hope they put more buses on for us. There’s no way I’d think about driving.”

The RMT drivers, who reportedly earn about £37,000 a year including overtime, also rejected a deal by bosses that would have seen a further payment for lower-paid staff.

The members have said they will only consider calling off the strike if rail bosses come up with a “realistic” pay offer. A pay offer double that previously made could see the strike action avoided.

DB Tyne and Wear, which runs trains on behalf of Nexus, called the emergency talks today.

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