North-east England faces bus chaos as workers ballot for strikes over pay
- Thursday 17 August 2023
1,300 members at Go North East buses balloted following below-inflation pay offers – action would bring bus services to a standstill.
Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, warned today (Thursday 17 August) that over 1,300 members could come out on strike and bring bus services in north-east England to a halt as its members are balloted for industrial action over pay.
Go North East drivers and engineers have been offered a derisory, below-inflation, pay offer that included cuts to terms and conditions. Administrative and clerical staff have not had any pay offer at all. Go North East can easily afford to increase pay offers given the latest accounts of its parent company, the Go-Ahead Group show bus group profits of nearly £85 million.
Depots that are being balloted and would be affected by any industrial action are: Consett, Gateshead, Hexham, Percy Main (North Shields), Sunderland and Washington. The ballot opens today and will run until Tuesday 12 September. If industrial action is voted for, strikes will likely take place from mid-September.
Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Go-Ahead is a massive company running bus services, not just in the north-east of England, but across the country and overseas. Yet they treat their workers with contempt by offering real-term pay cuts with these below-inflation offers.
“Unite does what it says on the trade union tin and it always puts the jobs, pay and conditions of its members first, the workers at Go North East will be receiving Unite’s total support.”
Unite regional officer, Dave Telford, added: “Strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption to bus passengers across north-east England, but this dispute is entirely the own making of Go North East’s management. They have had every opportunity to make an offer to meet our members’ expectations but have failed to do so.”
For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications adviser David Carnell on 07718 666592.
- 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.