Following the result of the recent Industrial Action ballot of Unite Wales members in Stagecoach South Wales, strike action has been called across the Cwmbran, Brynmawr and Blackwood depots.

Unite Wales Regional Officer, Alan McCarthy commented, 

"Stagecoach have pushed our members into a corner. Not only has the company rejected our pay offer it is also attacking our members sick pay and paid breaks. Unite is regretful for the inconvenience this action will cause to passengers but our members have been left with no option but to strike. 

"These pay talks were supposed to be resolved in April this year. Our members have now gone a several years with no increase in pay whilst the cost of living has risen considerably. They have had enough!

"The managing director of Stagecoach has described £10.50 an hour as ‘fantasy pay’. Our heroic bus drivers kept our communities moving throughout the pandemic. Bus drivers have proven their worth and to describe their modest pay claim in this way is both disrespectful and out of touch. 

"What is a fantasy is to believe that £10.50 an hour is in some way being over paid, particularly when we consider the incredibly challenging working conditions our members face on a daily basis. Our members recognise the support they’ve received from the public through Covid, and hope that the public will support them now, when their employer will not."

Regional Secretary of Unite Wales, Peter Hughes, added:

"Unite will not stand by as drivers, who we hailed as heroes in the last 18 months, are made to pay the price of Covid through low pay and attacks on terms and conditions. Our members in Stagecoach South Wales, and also now in Arriva North Wales, are worth so much more than this. 

"Deregulation of the bus industry has resulted in woeful treatment of workers and a lack of recognition of their efforts. Welsh government can regulate this industry and hold operators who unethically attack workers accountable. It’s time for sectoral change now."