Bus services in south Lancashire face severe disruption later this month as drivers employed by the Ribble Motor Services Ltd, part of the Stagecoach group, take strike action over low pay.

The 250 bus drivers based at the Preston and Chorley depots will take three days of strike action beginning on Thursday 14 October until the end of Saturday 16 October. There will then be a further 48 hour strike beginning on Friday 22 October.

Low pay

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Low pay is the scourge of the bus industry right across this country. It is totally unacceptable that yet again workers are expected to carry the load. That's why Unite will be relentless in its campaign to ensure that our members at Stagecoach receive a fair pay increase.

Low pay rates are causing increasing driver shortages at both depots.

Lancashire disruption

The strikes will disrupt bus services in the Preston area and services to Blackpool, Blackburn, Skipton, Southport and Bolton.

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 of available liquidity.

Pay offer rejected

The strikes were called after members rejected the latest offer by management following extensive negotiations with Unite. 

Stagecoach posturing

Unite regional officer Alison Spencer-Scragg said: “Our members have made it clear that they will no longer accept low pay.

“The planned strike action will undoubtedly cause widespread disruption to passengers across south Lancashire but the drivers believe they have no option but to take strike action to secure a decent wage.

“If the local management at Stagecoach wants to avoid these strikes then they should stop posturing, make a realistic pay offer and work with us to repair industrial relations.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

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.