3 strikes a week escalation follows mass rally in Barnsley (pictured) and pledges of support to undercut company’s “scab buses” operation
Stagecoach drivers in South Yorkshire are stepping up a 3-month campaign for parity with colleagues in other companies with further strike action on Monday.
Unite believes escalating strike action will undermine the attempt by millionaire transport boss, Sir Brian Souter to use managers and scab drivers – some brought from as far away as Perth and the Isle of Skye in Scotland – to break the strike.
Unite Executive Council member, Martin Mayer told UnionNews: “In our experience, when companies take on these sort of tactics, it can do one of two things to our members. It either breaks them very quickly, or it hardens their resolve.
“I see every sign here that it’s hardened their resolve.”
The union estimates that scab drivers are currently costing the company up to five times what it would normally pay a working driver, because of accomodation costs and bonuses being paid to the strike-breakers.
Unite is offering to go to the conciliation service, ACAS in an attempt to broker a just settlement and an end to the strikes.
The company’s last offer – to increase pay to £9.00 an hour – was overwhelmingly rejected by the drivers. The company had rejected a request for the increase to be backdated to the last pay review; the offer also included cuts to operational hours which negotiators believed would effectively nullify any pay increase.
Stagecoach drivers are paid up to 8% less than equivalent employees with other bus companies in South Yorkshire.
Unite regional officials told a rally in Barnsley on Saturday that they had donated £10,000 to the strike fund.
You can send a solidarity message to the drivers here.
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