Anger is bubbling among Stagecoach bus workers, who face long hours and low pay while the company reported an operating profit of £197.8 million earlier this year. Over 100 Stagecoach workers in Hastings went on a one-day strike on Friday of last week to fight a management-imposed 3 percent pay rise. The workers, members of the TGWU union, had demanded a 10 percent rise and a reduction in shift hours.
Stagecoach also cut drivers' sick pay from 80 percent to 77 percent of the basic wage. In the north east of England Stagecoach drivers have voted for strikes over pay. Around 450 bus workers were due to hold a one-day strike on Monday of this week against a pay offer worth 20p an hour extra. They voted by 93 percent for the action that was due to halt services in Teesside, Hartlepool and Darlington.
They are angry over average pay rates of £5 an hour, with no premium rates for weekend and late shifts. More than 1,000 Stagecoach workers in Newcastle, South Shields and Sunderland also voted for strike action last month in a dispute over pay.
In Stoke on Trent drivers employed by the giant First Group empire proved that strike action works after the company agreed to their pay demand. The drivers called off their second one-day strike after bosses agreed to a single rate of pay worth £6.25 an hour.
This replaces the 13 divisive rates that previously existed. The old rates ranged from £4.35 to £5.58 an hour.