Unite Wales members at Stagecoach are now set for significant industrial action following a breakdown in talks with ACAS. After two rounds of talks with mediators, Stagecoach refused to move towards a fair pay rate of £10.50 per hour. The company also maintained that cuts to sick pay, paid breaks alongside the introduction of destructive new starter rates would be required to achieve even a rate of £10.10 per hour.

Unite regional officer, Alan McCarthy, commented; 

“Unite representatives entered into talks with ACAS with optimism that there would be movement from Stagecoach. Instead, the message was ‘We think you deserve it, but we don’t want to shoulder the cost’. That’s a bitter pill to swallow, as government funding under the BES2 scheme has been covering operating costs for some time now, and continues until July 2022. Stagecoach have been benefitting from public funding, but will not pay a decent wage to workers who have delivered their services throughout the pandemic.

“The public and political support for our members has been amazing so far, with many drivers receiving encouragement from passengers. Local councilors, MS’s and MP’s have also offered their support, acknowledging that £10.50 per hour is a very reasonable request for the essential work our members carry out. We hope that this support continues as Industrial Action commences, as Stagecoach will undoubtedly try and blame their workers for any disruption.”

Unite Wales Regional Secretary, Peter Hughes added;

“We know what’s around the corner for working people. Higher fuel prices, a ticking time bomb on energy prices and high inflation driving up the cost of living. Stagecoach say ‘we won’t shoulder the cost’ even though they’ve benefitted from public funding support throughout the pandemic. This is a clear example of employers wanting workers to pay the price of Covid. Stagecoach need to listen to their workers, the public and political stakeholders. These drivers deserve fair pay now, without attacking their terms and conditions”.