Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents tens of thousands of workers across the bus, coach and rail industry, has warned that workers must not suffer following the announcement today (Tuesday 14 December) that National Express is set to takeover Stagecoach.

No attack on workers

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This takeover must not be paid for by attacks to workers’ terms and conditions.

"Unite has been winning better pay across the sector to push back against the years of racing to the bottom on pay and conditions, and that commitment to protecting the jobs, pay and conditions of our members remains firm,

"We expect the newly expanded National Express company to work with us to respect existing agreements, and must warn that failure to do this or any attempt to make our members worse off will be forcefully resisted."

Largest bus company

Stagecoach is the UK’s largest bus operator and its takeover by National Express will dramatically increase the new company’s turnover and presence in the UK bus sector where National Express already has a sizeable presence being the largest bus operator in the West Midlands

Passenger transport is a sector notorious for race to the bottom undercutting of pay and conditions. In recent months Unite has been leading a campaign to improve pay across the entire bus network with a particular focus on Stagecoach’s operations, currently workers employed in South Yorkshire are engaged in a second week of strike action in their dispute over pay.

Emergency meeting

Unite national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton said: “Unite is demanding an emergency meeting with both National Express and Stagecoach in order to fully understand what this merger means for our members.

 “The announcement has totally ignored the recognition agreements that Unite has in place with both companies. Unite should have been properly consulted before such a takeover was announced. The failure to abide by existing agreements is concerning and will create huge uncertainty and unnecessary worry across the entire workforce just prior to Christmas.

 “When Unite meets with the new management in addition to assurances on pay and conditions the union will be demanding a public commitment that the merger will not result in any compulsory redundancies.”


Notes to editors:

 Unite warns National Express that potential Stagecoach takeover bid comes amid industrial unrest

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.