Socialist Worker

Bus drivers vote for strikes in the East Midlands and the north east

Issue No. 2779

A Stagecoach bus in South Shields, where workers are set to strike

A Stagecoach bus in South Shields, where workers are set to strike (Pic: Ultra7/Wikimedia commons)

Over 800 drivers, engineers, cleaners, supervisors and managers employed by Stagecoach North East have voted overwhelmingly for 12 strike days over pay.

Workers in the Unite union are fighting management’s “divide and rule” tactics on pay.

Alongside the 92 percent vote to strike, workers also agreed to refuse overtime.

Strikes were set to take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week. They are then scheduled to be followed by more strikes on 16 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 and 30 November, and on 2 and 4 December.

The affected depots include Slatyford and Walkergate in Newcastle, South Shields, Sunderland, Stockton and Hartlepool.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “The Stagecoach board should understand that Unite is ready for a relentless campaign.”

Over 50 bus drivers for the operating company, Kinchbus in Loughborough and the East Midlands, are set to hold 11 days of strikes between 13 November and 11 December.

Workers voted by 88 percent for action against the “derisory” pay offer from Kinchbus bosses. The Unite union says it will call an all out strike after 13 December if it can’t get a deal with bosses.

The drivers are among the lowest paid in Britain. Even if they accepted Kinchbus’ derisory pay offer, their hourly wage would still be less than £11 an hour.

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