Yorkshire Stagecoach bus workers to strike in pay dispute amid national shortage of drivers

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) working for Stagecoach in the South West, East Midlands, Derbyshire and Yorkshire will walk out on October 18 after ballots showed support for industrial action.

Generic image of a Stagecoach bus

The company said the union was making “unrealistic and unaffordable” demands.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The massive votes for action by Stagecoach members reflect the growing disgust amongst bus workers at being kicked in the teeth on pay while inflation and wages elsewhere are rising steeply.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Instead of responding positively to that justified ‎anger from their staff with a fair offer the Stagecoach operation has instead resorted to a gutter campaign of abuse against their own staff designed to provoke a public backlash and that is what is happening right now.

“It’s well established now that we are facing a national shortage of bus drivers as staff leave over poor pay and conditions. It is ridiculous that Stagecoach have chosen this moment to hammer their staff over pay. The consequences for local services will be horrific.”

A Stagecoach spokesperson said: “Workers and students who rely on buses to access jobs and education, as well as businesses struggling to recover from the pandemic, will be angry that the RMT is planning to disrupt their lives and livelihoods.

“We are committed to offering good packages for our people and, as well as protecting jobs during the pandemic, we have reached agreement on pay increases for many employees at a number of depots around the country.

“However, the RMT has continued to make unrealistic and unaffordable demands, and in some instances has failed even to put above-inflation pay offers to a full ballot of its members.

“Any strike action is particularly counter-productive when bus networks require taxpayer support due to the pandemic and the focus of everyone should be on protecting the long-term sustainability of services for the local community.

“We very much remain open to continuing discussions with the union and would urge them to return to talks.”