Second Sheffield Supertram strike of the week to go ahead after no further talks take place

Members of Unite the Union on the picket line at Stagecoach Supertram's Nunnery Depot on Monday. Picture: Sam Cooper/ The Star.
Members of Unite the Union on the picket line at Stagecoach Supertram's Nunnery Depot on Monday. Picture: Sam Cooper/ The Star.
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Sheffield Supertram staff will walk out on strike for the second time this week after no further talks were held over what they labelled an 'insulting' pay offer.

Around 200 drivers and conductors will stage a 24-hour strike on Thursday, leading to a 'very limited number of trams' operating across the city.

Replacement bus services will run between 7am and 7pm and Stagecoach Supertram asked commuters not to travel during peak hours, if possible.

Phil Bown, regional officer for Unite the Union, said the action came after workers rejected a three-year pay offer, which he claimed equated to around 2.3 per cent.

He said no further talks had taken place since Monday's strike and apologised to passengers who may be disrupted.

Mr Bown said: "Supertram used to be a premium service but at the moment, with this management, they have got in, it seems they don't want to listen and we try and contact the company and all they want to do is have a battle in the press.

"If they put that much energy into trying to solve the dispute we might not be stood here today. "

Mr Bown said the union has asked for 50p-an-hour and the company had offered 26p.

He said: "Supertram has been running since 1994 and we've never had a dispute like this. Its workers are very loyal, they come here and stay here and are being treated like rubbish."

Mr Bown added a planned 72-hour strike between July 20 and 22 - the weekend of the Tramlines festival - was also due to go ahead.

Tim Bilby, managing director of Supertram, said a three-year pay offer was made to staff last Monday, which included a reduction in the contracted weekly hours.

He added: "We have provided a very healthy pay deal, which is higher than the average pay settlement in the UK economy today, during a period in which we are not making profit due to the effects of rail replacement work."

A Stagecoach Supertram spokesman said: "We are working hard to provide replacement services for strike days, however due to the number of passengers our normal tram services are able to carry compared to replacement services, we will not be able to provide the same number of seats as normal. We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause."