Bus services in Kent and Sussex face severe disruption this autumn and winter as drivers employed by Stagecoach take strike action over low pay.
More than 250 drivers, based at Stagecoach’s Herne Bay, Folkstone and Hastings depots, recorded an overwhelming yes vote in favour of strike action in response to the company failing to make a realistic pay offer.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Low pay is the scourge of the bus industry right across this country. Stagecoach made profits touching £60m last year and has £875m in the bank. Yet it cannot make a decent offer to its staff.
“Unite will be relentless in its campaign to ensure that our members at Stagecoach receive a fair pay increase.”
Strike action will take place 12, 15, 19, 22, 26 November and 3 and 6 December.
The strikes were called after members rejected the latest offer by management following extensive negotiations with Unite.
Drivers are on different rates of pay at each depot, ranging from £11.10 to £11.67 per hour. They have rejected offers ranging from 2.1 per cent to 4.3 per cent, with each depot being offered a different deal.
Unite regional officer Dave Weeks said: “Bus workers were rightly hailed as heroes during successive lockdowns. However, warm words do not pay the bills and Stagecoach needs to reward its workers' dedication with a decent pay award.”