More than 250 Stagecoach workers in Hull are being balloted for strike action over a pay cuts ‘disguised as a rise’, Unite said today (September 2).
The ballot of bus drivers, cleaners, engineers and commercial assistants will close on September 20, with potential strike action set to be scheduled for the week of Hull Fair.
Stagecoach, whose profits for the second half of 2021 more than doubled to £32.9 million, is offering workers an 8.7 per cent increase. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, standing at 12.3 per cent and rising, this is a real terms pay cut.
Moreover, workers are angry that their wages have fallen far behind their Stagecoach colleagues in other parts of the country. For instance, Stagecoach drivers in Merseyside earn £14 an hour, while Hull drivers earn just £11.14. Pay for Stagecoach drivers in Hull has gone up by just one per cent in three years.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Stagecoach makes money hand over fist but is offering a pay cut disguised as a pay rise to our members, who will not accept poverty wages from this wealthy company any longer.
“Unite believes if wealthy employers can pay, they should pay. The union believes its right to challenge employers who make excessive profits by exploiting and underpaying workers. Our members will receive Unite’s complete support until this dispute is resolved.”
The workers are asking for a pay increase that reflects the rates paid to workers in other parts of the country. For drivers, this would mean an increase to £13 per hour, with other roles increasing in-line with the same percentage.
Unite regional coordinating officer Harriet Eisner added, “Our members are sick of being treated as a second-class workforce. They have been left with no choice but to ballot for strike action over Stagecoach’s refusal make a pay offer comparable to the rates received by colleagues in similar parts of the country. The company needs to come back with an offer they can accept.”
By Ryan Fletcher