TRAVELLERS face a week of disruption as drivers prepare to strike for a week over a “poverty pay” offer from bosses.
Services in South Yorkshire face severe disruption after Stagecoach staff voted to walk out for a week from Saturday.
Unite said more than 560 workers, based at Stagecoach depots in Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham, had voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action “in response to the company failing to make a realistic pay offer.”
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Low pay is the scourge of the bus industry right across this country.
“Stagecoach made profits touching £60m last year and has £875m in the bank. Yet it cannot make a decent offer to its staff.
“Unite is pledged to fight for the jobs pay and conditions of our members so we will be relentless in the campaign to ensure that our members at Stagecoach, in South Yorkshire, get a fair deal.”
The strikes were called after members rejected a two per cent pay rise, which the union said was well below the 6.5 per cent to ten-and-half per cent rises secured elsewhere.
Phil Medlicott, managing director for Stagecoach Yorkshire, said the drivers had in fact been offered a 4.5 per cent rise.
“We’re extremely sorry that the action being taken by Unite means that we are unable to run any bus services from Saturday November until Friday, December 3," he said.
“We know that our employees deserve a good pay rise and we have left no stone unturned in our attempts to reach a settlement with Unite by offering employees an increase to the hourly pay rate of 4.5 per cent.
“Despite the positive and flexible approach we have taken in talks with the union, it’s very disappointing that this has progressed to strike action which is in nobody’s interests.
“We remain open to continuing discussions with the union and would urge them to call off this unnecessary action which will cause untold inconvenience to local communities and will hit the pockets of our employees and their families.”
Stagecoach said its website would be kept regularly updated with the latest information.