West Mids National Express bus drivers in strike vote

Industrial action threat comes after drivers reject 8% pay offer by 96%

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Around 3,000 West Midlands bus drivers are preparing to be balloted for strike action over pay, Unite said today (January 16).

Last Friday, the drivers, some of whom earn as little as £11.80 per hour, rejected a pay offer for 2023 worth around eight per cent.

National Express, which made £15.8 million in profits during the first half of 2022, insists the offer is worth 14 per cent. Unite has rejected the company’s calculations, however, because they include changes to hourly wages already made in 2022.

If the drivers go on strike, National Express services in Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Coventry, West Bromwich and elsewhere will be severely affected.

Unite regional officer Sulinder Singh said, “Our members aren’t fooled by National Express’ number fudging. They know perfectly well that the offer put in front of them equates to eight per cent, not the 14 per cent the company is disingenuously claiming.

“National Express can well afford to table an offer that reflects the soaring cost of living and needs to do so. Unite is now preparing to begin formal industrial action proceedings for our bus driver members at the company.”

Around 200 engineers, responsible for National Express’ fleet of over 1,200 buses covering 93 per cent of the West Midlands bus network, will finish voting on whether to strike this Wednesday (January 18). They are also unhappy with the pay offer put to them by National Express.

By Ryan Fletcher