About 400 workers at Cambus, who have not had a pay rise since April 2019, have voted to hold 10 days of strike action next month, starting on Tuesday 4 January, Unite the union said today (Tuesday 21 December).

Unite said its members –  drivers, engineers, cleaners and shunters -  based at Cambridge, Fenstanton and Peterborough had voted by 96 per cent to hold the strike days which will run from 4 January through to Thursday 20 January. (Exact dates of the strikes can be seen in ‘Notes to editors’.)

The workers employed by Cambus Ltd, part of the highly profitable Stagecoach bus ‘empire’, have rejected a 1.5 per cent pay offer from April 2021 with a further 1.5 per cent this month for the pay year 2021/22 – at a time when the RPI rate of inflation has soared to 7.1 per cent.

The union predicted that the strikes will cause travel chaos for workers and leisure travellers throughout the county – on the day (4 January) that Stagecoach East is introducing a new fare structure which the company claims will mean 92% of our customers will pay the same or less for their bus ticket as a result of these changes’. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “We will be standing 100 per cent behind our members at Cambus who have not had a pay rise since April 2019. They have suffered a dramatic cut in pay in real terms, especially as inflation has now reached a decade-high of 7.1 per cent and household bills have gone through the roof.  

“Despite Stagecoach pleading poverty, the company remains extremely profitable with its latest accounts revealing that the group made a profit of £58.4 million. The company also has £875 million in liquid assets.”

Unite regional officer Mark Plumb said: “Our members should not pay for the continuing pandemic, while the employer has readily scooped up UK taxpayer support, including cash from the furlough scheme. The 10 days of strike action will, unfortunately, cause travel chaos for bus users across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“However, there is now a window of opportunity for the management to come forward with a realistic pay offer for our members that reflects the fast-rising rate of inflation, otherwise the strikes will go-ahead.”

Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers' living standards.


Notes to editors:

04.00 on Tuesday 4 January until 04.00 on Sunday 9 January (5 day stoppage) then

04.00 on Monday 10 Jan until 04.00 on Tuesday 11 Jan (24hr stoppage) then

04.00 Wednesday 12 Jan until 04,00 on Thursday 13 Jan (24hr stoppage) then

04.00 on Saturday 15 Jan until 04.00 on Sunday 16 Jan (24hr stoppage) then

04.00 on Monday 17 Jan to 04.00 Tuesday 18 Jan (24hr stoppage) then

04.00 on Wednesday 19 Jan to 04.00 Thursday 20 Jan (24hr stoppage)

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org 

Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.