Stagecoach’s 560 depot workers and bus drivers in South Yorkshire have escalated to an indefinite strike over pay.
The Unite union members have already held two week-long strikes.
Workers refused the first pay offer of just two percent—then voted to reject another offer by 95 percent.
They say bosses’ offers don’t compensate for a pay freeze imposed last year. They want their pay to be increased to a minimum of £11.40 an hour.
The top rate of hourly pay for a South Yorkshire bus driver at Stagecoach is just £10.80 an hour.
This is despite Stagecoach making profits of almost £60 million in 2020, and with £875 million in the bank.
The strike began on New Year’s Day at depots in Rotherham and Barnsley and 2 January in Sheffield.
Pickets held signs reading, “Low pay, no way.”
They were joined by the local trades councils and National Education Union members in Rotherham.
Bus drivers employed by the council owned, Nottingham City Transport (NCT) are willing to strike after they rejected a “subpar” pay offer.
Nearly 600 drivers, who are members of the Unite union, rejected a two year pay deal that would leave wages lower than other bus companies.
NCT offered the workers a pay deal that would see wages gradually rise by just £1 an hour after two years. Workers demand the minimum of an immediate £1 pay rise. Drivers are paid as little as £10.70 an hour. They are also fighting for faster wage progression towards the top rate of pay, which currently stands at just £12.10.
Unite regional coordinating officer Scott Lennon said, “Unite has agreed to further talks with NCT but given our members clearly expressed disappointment with the company’s previous offers, we are consulting on the possibility of strikes that could begin early in 2022.”
The Unite union has suspended a strike by 400 bus workers in Cambridge, Fenstanton and Peterborough.
Workers at Cambus were set to strike over pay. But Unite called off the action after bosses made an “improved offer” for workers in Cambridge and Fenstanton.
The union said it “expected” a similar offer for those in Peterbrough, but that details were “confidential” while workers voted on the new deal.
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