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South Yorkshire bus passengers face serious disruption this autumn and winter if Stagecoach bus drivers and depot workers vote for strike action over a pay dispute, Unite said today (Thursday 21 October). 

Unite, the UK’s leading union, said Stagecoach, which operates as the Yorkshire Traction Company in South Yorkshire, is refusing to offer the more than 560 workers at depots in Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham a reasonable pay rise.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Bosses at Stagecoach's Yorkshire Traction Company should know that Unite is ready for a relentless campaign if our South Yorkshire members vote for strike action.

“Unite members all over the UK are taking action right now over Stagecoach’s ‘penny pinching’ on pay. Stagecoach's board should be in no doubt that Unite is wholly dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of our members."

Stagecoach failed to give the workers a pay rise in 2020, even though the company remains extremely profitable. Notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic, Stagecoach’s latest accounts reveal that the group made a profit of £58.4 million and it has £875 million of available liquidity.

The ballot for strike action opens on Friday 22 October and closes on Monday 8 November. If members vote for industrial action than strikes could begin in mid-November.

Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “Our members are the lowest paid bus workers in the region. They rejected Stagecoach’s latest derisory pay offer by 97 per cent on a turnout of 90 per cent – this shows that a vote for strike action is highly likely. 

“Stagecoach needs to put forward a pay offer our members can accept. If passengers face serious disruption this winter, it will be entirely Stagecoach’s fault." 

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