Almost 600 bus drivers in the Unite union at Brighton and Hove Buses are set to strike over a pay deal that would also make changes to workers’ conditions.
Union officials were in talks with management as Socialist Worker went to press, but unless there is a serious shift from the company drivers expect to be on strike for at least 24 hours sometime in the next two weeks.
Unite regional organiser Dave Weeks said that management had been informed of the strike vote. “There has been a mandate from our members,” he added.
Drivers have rejected several pay offers in the past six months. The Unite members rejected the most recent offer by 483 votes to 315.
But around 150 workers in the GMB union voted by a margin of three to one to accept the latest offer.
Management’s original offer amounted to just 1.1 percent for many drivers at the company.
The latest revised offer means increases between 4 and 8 percent depending on drivers’ experience.
However, with an average wage at the company of only around £358 for a five-day week, many feel the offer is still far short of the level workers need to begin to catch up with the spiralling cost of living.