Stagecoach drinking in ‘last chance saloon’ as Gloucestershire bus drivers overwhelmingly vote for strike action in pay dispute
- Thursday 10 February 2022
Unite has warned the management at Stagecoach West, that it is ‘drinking in the last chance saloon’ if it wants to avoid strikes in a dispute over low pay.
Over 300 bus drivers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have overwhelmingly voted for strike action.
Unite has decided not to announce strike action immediately in order to give Stagecoach West a final opportunity to make a pay offer which meets workers’ expectations. Many of the drivers are paid less than £11 an hour, for what is a highly responsible and demanding role.
End low pay
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Stagecoach needs to end its penny-pinching and pay bus workers a decent wage. Unite has been relentless in its campaign to ensure our members at Stagecoach across the country receive a fair pay increase.
“Unite does what it says on the trade union tin and always puts the jobs, pay and conditions of its members first. Our members at Stagecoach West will be receiving Unite’s unequivocal support until this dispute is resolved.”
If strike action goes ahead it will affect all of Stagecoach West’s operations from its depots in Bristol, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud, Colway and Ross-on-Wye.
Despite its pleas of poverty Stagecoach’s parent company remains extremely profitable. Notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic, its accounts reveal that the group made a profit of £58.4 million and it has £875 million of available liquidity.
Last chance saloon
Unite regional officer Shevaun Hunt said: “Stagecoach is drinking in the last chance saloon. Unite is delaying strike dates in order to give the company a final opportunity to make a decent offer that members can accept.
“There is still a real possibility that strikes, which will cause widespread disruption to bus passengers throughout Gloucestershire, can be avoided but the ball is firmly in Stagecoach’s court.”
There is a growing shortage of bus drivers throughout the UK. A recent survey of Unite members revealed that 99 per cent of garages had shortages and that low pay was identified as the primary reason for workers leaving the profession.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
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.