Stagecoach East workers in Fife, Perth and Strathtay back strike action as Unite says company got ‘some distance to go’
- Wednesday 6 October 2021
Unite Scotland confirmed today (6 October) that hundreds of Stagecoach Group workers across Fife, Perth and Strathtay have overwhelmingly backed taking strike action in a dispute over pay.
Around 550 workers employed by Stagecoach East have supported strike action with Fife workers backing strike action by 93.4% in a 74.4% ballot turnout. In Strathtay, Stagecoach East workers also backed strike action by 93.2% in a 67% ballot turnout. In Perth, workers backed strike action by 91% in a ballot turnout of 78%.
A new offer has been put to the Stagecoach East workforce in the last few days. Unite acknowledged that while the new offer represented a ‘step forward' there is still 'some distance to go’ to meet the pay demands of its members.
Unite has demanded Stagecoach meet its ‘fair’ pay claim of the Retail Price Index inflation figure (3.8% - July) plus 1% made by Unite. Stagecoach’s latest accounts reveal that the Group made a profit of £58.4m, and it has over £875m of available liquidity.
Unite is holding a number of ballots which cover major bus depots across Scotland including Angus, Ardrossan Ayr, Brodick, Cumbernauld, Dumfries, Dundee, Fife, Inverness, Highlands and Islands, Kilmarnock, and Perth. In total, around 1,500 workers are covered by the ballots.
The workers involved in the dispute are drivers, engineering staff, administrative workers, and cleaners. Any industrial action, it is anticipated, would involve disruption to the COP26 climate change conference being held in Glasgow between 31 October – 12 November 2021.
Dougie Maguire, Unite regional coordinator, said: “Stagecoach East workers across Fife, Perth and Strathtay have overwhelmingly backed taking strike action. The strength of resolve is crystal clear for all to see. There needs to be some perspective in this dispute because while Stagecoach East has made a new offer, which is a step forward, there is still some distance to go. It falls far short of our members’ reasonable and fair pay aspirations because we are dealing with an extremely profitable company.
“Unite’s ambition all along has been to solve this amicably without resorting to strike action. The public need to know that Stagecoach East has turned up to this dispute well over the expected time of arrival. Unite’s members have been left with no option but to consider walking because the company hasn’t done enough talking. If Stagecoach decide they want to talk then Unite is willing and waiting, but only if they turn up with a fair offer.”