Stagecoach National Express takeover latest

Workers must not suffer following National Express takeover of Stagecoach, warns Unite

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Unite, which represents tens of thousands of workers across the bus, coach and rail industry, has warned that workers must not suffer following the announcement today (December 14) that National Express is set to takeover Stagecoach.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This takeover must not be paid for by attacks to workers’ terms and conditions.

“Unite has been winning better pay across the sector to push back against the years of racing to the bottom on pay and conditions, and that commitment to protecting the jobs, pay and conditions of our members remains firm,” she added.

“We expect the newly expanded National Express company to work with us to respect existing agreements, and must warn that failure to do this or any attempt to make our members worse off will be forcefully resisted.”

Stagecoach is the UK’s largest bus operator and its takeover by National Express will dramatically increase the new company’s turnover and presence in the UK bus sector where National Express already has a sizeable presence being the largest bus operator in the West Midlands

Passenger transport is a sector notorious for race to the bottom undercutting of pay and conditions. In recent months Unite has been leading a campaign to improve pay across the entire bus network with a particular focus on Stagecoach’s operations, currently workers employed in South Yorkshire are engaged in a second week of strike action in their dispute over pay.

Unite national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton noted, “Unite is demanding an emergency meeting with both National Express and Stagecoach in order to fully understand what this merger means for our members.

“The announcement has totally ignored the recognition agreements that Unite has in place with both companies,” he added. “Unite should have been properly consulted before such a takeover was announced. The failure to abide by existing agreements is concerning and will create huge uncertainty and unnecessary worry across the entire workforce just prior to Christmas.

“When Unite meets with the new management in addition to assurances on pay and conditions the union will be demanding a public commitment that the merger will not result in any compulsory redundancies.”

By Barckley Sumner

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