Hull Stagecoach dispute intensifies
Massively profitable Stagecoach tries undermining strike by targeting individual workers
Individual striking Stagecoach workers in Hull are to be targeted by their employer in an attempt to pressure them into accepting an already rejected pay offer, Unite said today (October 26).
The 250 drivers, engineers and cleaners have been on all out strike since 7 October. They are striking over a below inflation pay offer, are paid much less than their colleagues in other regions and have seen their pay increase by just one per cent in three years.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Stagecoach’s transparent attempt to undermine the strike will not work. Our members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action and will not be split.
“They know Stagecoach earned profits of £72 million last year, while the company’s owner Deutsche Bank brought in profits of £3 billion. Our members will not be treated as second class employees: Stagecoach and Deutsche Bank must give them a fair slice of the pie.”
The workers voted by 96 per cent in a ballot with an 87 per cent turnout in favour of striking over the company’s offer of £12.50 per hour for drivers and the same percentage increase for cleaners and engineers.
The workers, who are paid significantly less than their colleagues performing the same roles in other parts of the country, are demanding £13 an hour for drivers and the same percentage increase for other roles.
Currently, drivers are paid just £11.14 an hour, compared to the £14 rate their colleagues in Merseyside are paid. Stagecoach have settled more than 10 disputes across the country with Unite over the last 18 months by offering underpaid bus drivers significant rises.
Unite regional coordinating officer Harriet Eisner added, “Stagecoach’s local manager Matt Cranwell is attempting to circumnavigate negotiations by pressuring individual members to accept a deal they have already rejected. It is time for Stagecoach’s more senior leadership to step in so talks can be entered into sensibly.
“Stagecoach and Deutsche Bank are massively profitable and have recognised in numerous other areas that staff were in need of a pay rise. Not only do our Hull members sorely deserve and need one, but it is the only way to stem the huge driver shortages afflicting the area.”
By Ryan Fletcher