Drivers at Oxford Bus Company ballot for strike action...

Drivers at Oxford Bus Company ballot for strike action over ‘total breakdown’ in industrial relations

24 January 2017
Oxford Bus Company are being balloted for strike action, following ‘a complete breakdown of industrial relations’, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Tuesday 24 January). 

The union said that the issues included pay negotiations, disciplinary procedures, and a proposed new holiday policy and lieu days. The ballot will open on Monday 30 January and closes on Monday 20 February.

The company, part of the highly profitable Go Ahead Group, gained unwelcome publicity last month, after ‘Scrooge’ bosses refused to pay drivers extra for working on two legally recognised bank holidays over the festive season which meant individual drivers lost £100-a-day.

Unite regional officer Marie Hall said: “We held talks with the company on the dire state of industrial relations last week, but, unfortunately, no substantive progress was made.

“The management is responsible for failing to negotiate in good faith. They may speak warm words, but their actions have created a negative culture where our members feel that they have no option but to hold an industrial action ballot so their legitimate grievances are taken seriously.

“There has been a total breakdown in industrial relations due to the company’s attitude which was highlighted by the ‘Scrooge’ episode at Christmas.

“As Unite represents the majority of the 590-strong workforce should there be a strike bus services in Oxford will be paralysed. However, there is a window of opportunity for the company to come to the table and enter into a constructive dialogue with the union. Our door is open 24/7.”

Unite has 436 members at the company, including drivers, maintenance staff and admin workers.


Notes to editors: 
  • The Go-Ahead Group PLC profit before tax increased by £21.1 million or 26.8 per cent from £78.7 million in the year to 26/06/2015 to £99.8 million in the year to 02/07/2016. 
  • The City of Oxford Motor Services Ltd profit before tax increased by £122,000 or 3.1 per cent from £3.96 million in the year to 28/06/2014 to £4.082 million in the year to 27/06/2015. 

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.