Bus strikes could take place across the Go Ahead/Metrobus network in the Brighton & Hove and Crawley areas after union members rejected the latest low-pay offer, Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, announced today.


Around 1000 members including bus drivers, cleaners, engineers and other vital roles are being balloted over prospective industrial action. They rejected the last pay offer of just seven per cent back dated to early July and 10 per cent from this weekend.


Following a pay survey, workers are demanding increased pay rates and an increase in sick pay. They also want an increase in holiday as those with less than six years’ service get just 20 days.


The Brighton and Hove bus company can afford to an improved pay as its latest accounts show a profit of over £11million[1] while its parent company, the Go-Ahead group also posted bus group profits of nearly £85million[2].


Brighton and Hove bus company carries the highest number of passengers, outside of London, in the whole of the UK and is the only bus service in Brighton & Hove serving all the estates and universities. The company covers from Tunbridge Wells to the east, through to Shoreham and Lancing to the west. Metrobus (part of the Go-Ahead group) covers Crawley, including Gatwick Airport.


The ballot opens tomorrow (16 August) and closes on 12 September. If successful, strike action will likely begin at the end of September.


Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Workers across the Brighton and Hove bus company are rightfully furious at the low pay and terrible conditions they are being forced to endure including having to work for six years to be entitled to day-one sick pay.”


“The Go-Ahead group will feel the full force of Unite in backing our members in this dispute and our relentless focus on jobs, pay and conditions.”


Unite regional officer, Janet Nobbs, commented: “We have tried to reason with Brighton and Hove buses but their refusal to meet our members with a decent pay offer has left us with no choice but to ballot for strike action. We urge the bus company to come back to the negotiating table and continue discussion.


“We encourage the residents of Brighton & Hove and further afield to join us in directing their anger towards Go-Ahead as their bus services will be brought to a standstill if industrial action is forced to goes ahead.”




For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications adviser David Carnell on 07718 666592.


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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.