Page last updated at 16:48 GMT, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 17:48 UK

Tram staff vote on strike action

Drivers and conductors on Nottingham trams are to be balloted on whether they want to take strike action over a pay freeze.

The GMB union had called for a 5% pay increase but operators Nottingham Tram Consortium (NTC) refused because it faces a drop in its annual income.

NTC's general manager Helen Goulding said she was "extremely disappointed" and the GMB's action was "premature".

The ballot result is expected to be announced on 10 July.

NTC said it was unable to make a new pay offer because its income is linked to the May Retail Prices Index, a negative figure, meaning that for the first time its annual income would fall.

Ms Goulding said: "We have an agreement in place which states that in the event of a dispute, no action will be taken until all the steps to avoid industrial action have been exhausted.

"We therefore feel this action is somewhat premature."

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