Chesterfield bus passengers face serious disruption this autumn and winter if Stagecoach bus drivers and cleaners vote for strike action over a pay dispute, Unite said today (September 20).
Unite said Stagecoach, which operates as the Yorkshire Traction Company in Chesterfield, is citing the pandemic for refusing to offer the workers, who are based at the Stonegravels depot, a reasonable pay rise.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Bosses at Stagecoach’s Yorkshire Traction Company should know that Unite is ready for a relentless campaign if our Chesterfield members vote for strike action.”
“Unite members all over the UK are voting for industrial action right now over Stagecoach’s ‘penny pinching’ on pay,” she added. “Stagecoach’s board should be in no doubt that Unite is now wholly dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of our members.”
The union said Chesterfield staff are ‘incensed’ that the company is using Covid as an excuse when they worked right through the pandemic to provide safe transport for key workers despite the risks to themselves and their families.
Stagecoach failed to give the workers a pay rise in 2020, even though the company remains extremely profitable. Notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic, Stagecoaches latest accounts reveal that the group made a profit of £58.4 million and it has £875 million of available liquidity.
The ballot for strike action opens today and closes on October 1. If members vote for industrial action than strikes could begin later this autumn.
Unite regional coordinating officer Scott Lennon said, “Our members have not had a pay rise for two years. Now Stagecoach are again using the pandemic as a cover to block a decent wage rise.
“Our members are incensed at Stagecoach’s ‘penny pinching’. If passengers face serious disruption this autumn and winter, it will be entirely Stagecoach’s fault”.
By Ryan Fletcher