Manchester Stagecoach drivers to strike

Stagecoach bringing in huge profits but offers workers inadequate pay deal

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More than 1,000 Manchester Stagecoach drivers have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action, with strikes beginning in August, Unite announced on Friday (July 28).

The drivers have responsibility for manoeuvring large vehicles all day through heavy traffic and care for the safety of thousands of passengers. They have rejected an offer of just four per cent from June 2023 with a further four per cent in December. With the current rate of inflation, RPI, standing at 10.7 per cent, this is a real terms pay cut.

Stagecoach’s latest financial report showed its adjusted profit before tax increased 98 per cent to £36.4 million in the six months to 29 October 2022. For the 2021/2022 financial year, Stagecoach reported revenues of almost £1.2 billion with adjusted profits of £72.7 million.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Stagecoach is bringing in massive profits and can well afford to give it drivers a reasonable pay increase. The company must put forward an offer that acknowledges rising living costs and the demands of what is a difficult and stress job. Unite’s top priority is our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and Manchester’s Stagecoach drivers have the full backing of their union.”

Strike action will take place on August 11, 12, 13 and 14. Bus services across the whole of Manchester will be severely affected. More strikes will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved.

Unite regional officer Colin Hayden added, “Stagecoach bears full responsibility for the disruption that will be caused to passengers. This dispute could have been settled with a sensible offer weeks ago and our members are striking as a last resort. Unite’s door remains open and we urge the company to return to the negotiating table with an offer our member can accept.”

By Ryan Fletcher