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A pay dispute at Kinchbus could lead to serious disruption to bus services in Loughborough and the East Midlands, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 12 October). 

Around 50 Kinchbus drivers, who are amongst the lowest paid in the country, are being balloted for strike action by their union, Unite, over an unsatisfactory pay offer.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Kinchbus pays some of the lowest rates in the country for bus drivers. Their current pay offer will not even take drivers past £11 an hour ­– a disgracefully low amount for such a challenging job.  

“If our members vote for strike action, they can be assured, and Kinchbus’ bosses should be aware, that their union, Unite, will throw its full weight behind their campaign to achieve pay justice.”

The ballot for strike action opened last week and closes on 22 October.

If the ballot is successful then strikes could begin in early November, with Kinchbus routes across Loughborough and the wider region, including services to East Midlands airport, Nottingham, Leicester and Derby, being “seriously disrupted".

Unite regional officer Scott Lennon said: “Kinchbus and its owner Wellgrade are in robust financial health and can afford to pay these loyal and hardworking drivers a much better wage than they currently receive.  

“During the pandemic, bus drivers were hailed as heroes. It is now time for Kinchbus to recognise their service and table an acceptable offer before this dispute gets to a stage where services are seriously disrupted.”

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