Sheffield bus strike: Stagecoach drivers on picket line say ‘we’ve had enough of low pay’

Sheffield Stagecoach bus drivers have explained why they are striking this week, as Unite members braved freezing temperatures to back their action.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 10:06 am

Picket lines have been set up at Stagecoach’s depots at Green Lane, Ecclesfield, and at Rother Valley Way, Holbrook, with drivers manning them through the snow.

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Bus strike Sheffield: Stagecoach say Unite union ‘unreasonable’ as action set to...

At Holbrook, striking drivers waved banners and carried a placard stating: “Danger: low pay area.”

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the picket line at the Stagecoach depot on Rother Valley Way

Karl Rogan, a driver and chairman of the Holgate branch of Unite, said the union had asked for a pay rise which had been rejected by the company bosses.

He said of the picket line: “Everyone’s turned out, the drivers who are in the union, and we’ve had a lot of support from passers by, so everyone has been supportive so far.

“There is always someone here from 5.30am until 6.30pm. Sunday and Monday was very cold and very snowy, today’s not been so bad. We’re taking the weather as it comes.”

Driver and Unite union rep Nick Sanderson said the turnout on the picket lines had been good, with shows of support from motorists as they drive past.

the picket line at the Stagecoach depot on Rother Valley Way

He said: “We’ve just had enough. We want to be paid better for the hours that we do. The job deserves more money, and we all feel that way.

“We’ve had a lot of drivers turn out, a hell of a lot, especially during the snow when it was really cold. But people turned up, they had a good time, they smiled and cheered, so I can’t fault it.”

He said the striking drivers would prefer the strike was not as long is it could be, but it depended on whether the company got round the table and discussed the matter.

Phil Medlicott, managing director for Stagecoach Yorkshire, said last week: “We know that our employees deserve a good pay rise and have now offered employees an increase to the hourly pay rate of six per cent with a further three per cent in the next six months, a total offer of nine per cent on the current pay rate within six months.

Stagecoach drivers and Unite officials Karl Rogan, right, and Nick Sanderson on the picket line at the Stagecoach depot on Rother Valley Way

“We remain open to continuing discussions with the union and would urge them to call off this unnecessary action.”