The continuing poor pay in the UK’s bus industry has sparked another ballot for strike action – this time by 400 workers at Cambus who have not had a pay rise since April 2019.

Unite the union said that its members –  drivers, engineers, cleaners and shunters – based at Cambridge, Fenstanton and Peterborough will hold a ballot for strike action from tomorrow (Thursday 25 November), closing on Thursday 16 December.

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 next month for the pay year 2021/22 – at a time when the RPI rate of inflation has soared to six per cent.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Since I became general secretary of Unite in August, the union has chalked up more than a dozen ‘wins’ in bus company disputes. Unite now does exactly what it says on the trade union tin: fight to defend our members’ jobs, pay and conditions. 

“That is exactly what we intend to do for 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 is now reaching unprecedented levels for recent years.  

“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 pandemic, while the employer has readily scooped up UK taxpayer support, including cash from the furlough scheme. The management is now threatening to come back in 2022 to further erode our members’ employment conditions – we won’t allow that to happen and strikes in the New Year are very much on the cards.”

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.