Stagecoach bus drivers in Sunderland to strike on another two dates as dispute over pay continues
Almost 200 Stagecoach bus drivers will be striking across Sunderland for two more days following a five day strike this week.
Stagecoach bus drivers in Sunderland will walk out for another two dates on October 28 and 31 after workers were left angry following an offer that the GMB describes as ‘a massive real terms pay cut’ of four per cent, with two per cent to follow later in the year.
A picket line began on Tuesday, October 10 at the company’s city depot as those staff who are part of the GMB began five days of strike action, ending on Saturday. The industrial action comes after a ballot which saw 97 per cent of GMB members vote for industrial action on an 83 per cent turnout.
GMB said members were keen to participate in part-day strikes – from 10am until 3pm - so that people in the city were able to get to and from work and school. However, the union said Stagecoach would not allow employees to work for any part of a day when they took industrial action. Stagecoach has been contacted for a comment.
Stuart Gilhespy, GMB Organiser, said: “The last thing Sunderland’s bus drivers want to do is strike. But Stagecoach have backed them into a corner – they're refusing to negotiate and drivers are desperate. It’s a shame management won’t let members work during the rush hour so families and children can get to work and school. But Stagecoach bosses seem hell bent on causing as much misery to the people of Sunderland as they can.”
A Stagecoach North East spokesperson said: "We understand that GMB are planning to take further strike action at the end of the month, and if this goes ahead, we will be doing everything we can to keep as many services as possible running. We want to make sure people can continue to access employment, education and other services and Stagecoach staff and family passes will be accepted on our services throughout any period of industrial action.
"We would urge GMB to continue talks with us to try and agree a pay deal rather than taking further days of action which are impacting our drivers, our customers and our communities."