Unite has announced that engineers vital to the running of Croydon Tramlink will go on strike over pay this month.

The workers will strike on March 24, 25, 26, and 27, with strike action ending at 6am on March 28 and further dates planned.

Around 60 tram, stores and infrastructure engineers are angry that their colleagues on the London Underground, who need the same qualifications and perform the same roles, are paid up to £10,000 more a year.

The disparity is causing Tramlink staffing shortages because workers leave as soon as a higher-paid job becomes available on the London Underground.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “For years, TfL has gotten away with paying Tramlink engineers substantially less than their colleagues on the London Underground.

“Not anymore – our members are sick of being treated as poor relations by TfL. “They have Unite’s absolute support in striking for fair pay.”

Negotiations have been ongoing with Transport for London (TfL) for over five years because the workers are on office worker contracts despite their technical roles.

The situation lowered their pay and stopped the workers from working together to talk about their pay as a group.

TfL agreed last year to change the workers' contracts but Unite claims it has failed to implement this commitment.

Unite Regional Officer Bruce Swann said: “The entire employment situation of these workers is a mess.

“While TfL might claim this is the fault of historic mistakes, Unite believes it is simply trying to continue to run these services on the cheap at the expense of these workers.

“TfL needs to resolve the massive pay disparity and other issues, or this dispute will continue to escalate.”

We have contacted TfL for a comment.