Unite Wales members in Stagecoach South Wales, based out of Cwmbran, Brynmawr and Blackwood depots, will be balloted for industrial action this week in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Scheduled pay talks in 2020 were abandoned by the employer while it focused on running services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Bus driver pay in the surrounding area has finally risen to £10.50 per hour in response to driver shortages across the industry, fuelled in part by drivers moving to the HGV sector in pursuit of a decent living wage.

Unite Wales Regional Officer, Alan McCarthy commented,

“An uplift in pay for bus drivers across Wales is long overdue. These are the workers that were so lauded by the public and politicians, as essential workers that kept us moving during the last two years, often at increased risk to themselves.

"Even £10.50 per hour does not fairly reflect the value of the work our members carry out, however, the rate has risen to that figure at local competitors. Stagecoach believe that this rate can only be achieved by members sacrificing their sick pay and paid breaks.

"This is an insult to hard working essential workers in South Wales, and does nothing to help the company attract or retain staff. Our members carried this company during Covid, and will not be repaid by pickpocketing.”