Nottingham tram staff vote to strike over Christmas as terminally-ill workers face pay cut

By Joe Locker, Local Democracy Reporter

The company behind Nottingham’s trams has been asked to act urgently to avoid “chaos over Christmas” after staff voted to strike over the treatment of two terminally-ill workers.

Robert Currie, an RAF veteran, and local tram worker David Brown, are employed by Keolis (Nottingham Trams), which forms part of the group of companies which runs the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) tram network.

According to the GMB Union they had faced a reduction in pay and, in a show of solidarity, union members took part in a ballot to strike over the festive period.

The union announced on Monday (November 21) 94 per cent of members had voted to strike.

Mr Currie, who has been threatened with a loss of income, said: “It’s overwhelming to see this act of solidarity from GMB members.

“Tram workers are an essential part of our city, keeping families, shoppers and businesses moving all year round.

“The threats of loss of income have had a huge impact on me and my family, after years of loyal service on the trams. To see GMB members have my back like this gives me hope.”

Keolis is a signatory to the ‘Dying to Work Charter’, an agreement to guarantee income protection for workers when facing terminal illnesses, but GMB claimed the company indicated “they could withdraw from such agreements, leaving Nottingham’s tram workers without vital protections if they face a terminal illness”.

In response GMB members took to the ballot box.

Nottingham East MP, Nadia Whittome (Lab), told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “This result is an overwhelming mandate for strike action.

“I hope that NET recognise the depth of feeling amongst tram staff about the treatment of their terminally ill colleagues and get round the negotiating table to resolve this dispute.”

Colin Whyatt, GMB Organiser, says: “This goes to show the depth of feeling amongst Nottingham’s tram workers on this issue.

“For Keolis to threaten to cut the pay of loyal workers facing a terminal illness in their life has been shocking and disappointing for so many GMB members.

“The company now need to act urgently to avoid tram chaos over the Christmas shopping period.”

An NET spokesman added: “Talks are ongoing. We won’t be making any further statement until those conclude.”

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