Drivers wins dispute with Stagecoach for £1 an hour pay rise after 17 days of strike action
Union members at Stagecoach have won their dispute with the company after 17 days of strike action, achieving £10.50 per hour of pay back dated to April.
Around 200 drivers at Stagecoach’s depots in Cwmbran, Brynmawr and Blackwood staged a three-week walkout aimed at raising their wages from £9.50 an hour to £10.50 an hour.
The boss of Stagecoach South Wales, Nigel Winter, has accused their union, Unite, of “fuelling fantasy pay demands as part of a wider political agenda” and said “the union needs a reality-check on what is affordable”.
But Stagecoach ultimately relented in what the union Unite is calling a “huge win”. They added that they were “immensely proud” of their members.
Nigel Winter, Managing Director for Stagecoach South Wales, said: “We’re very proud of our team, who do a fantastic job in delivering vital transport connections for local people.
“We said right from the start that we were committed to getting a settlement to reflect the important role our people play and that also protects the long-term sustainability of the bus network for our customers and communities in South Wales.
“We’re pleased that through flexibility on both sides, and improvements in productivity, we have reached an agreement that achieves these aims through until April 2023 and that will bring an end to any further strike action.”
Nation.Cymru had revealed at the start of the strike that just 30 miles away in Bristol, the same company is offering £11.75 to trainee bus drivers. That rises to £11.80 in Plymouth and Barnstable.
Nation.Cymru had also reported the week before how the latest accounts of Stagecoach South Wales say directors’ remuneration rose from £181,000 to £229,000 between 2019 and 2020 and note: “The highest paid director received £180,000 (2019: £154,000).”
Unite had announced it would launch a fresh walkout lasting until January unless Stagecoach offered £10.50 without cuts to sick pay and paid breaks.
As the dispute got going, Stagecoach had paid for two advertorials in Wales Online and the South Wales Argus which say “the union’s demand for a 10.5% increase in one step is not achievable without damaging bus services”.