Stagecoach strike Sheffield: Striking bus drivers pledge to work over Christmas period

Striking Sheffield Stagecoach bus drivers have pledged to work over Christmas – to make sure their action does not spoil festivities for families in the city.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 5:32 pm

Drivers have already said they will continue their strike from the end of next week, with more action running from Sunday, December 12 until Sunday, December 19.

But officials at the union Unite have announced they will not be striking over Christmas.

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Members of Unite picket the Stagecoach depot at Ecclesfield, Sheffield, as the drivers strike over pay

More than 560 bus workers are involved in the dispute, which also involves Barnsley and Rotherham.

The initial week of strike action will end this weekend, before resuming on December 12.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Low pay is the fundamental reason why workers are voting with their feet and leaving the bus sector. Stagecoach can afford to offer workers a fair pay rise but it has chosen not to do so.”

The union claims the fresh week of strike action has been called as a result of Stagecoach making no attempt to resolve the dispute or even indicating that it was prepared to enter into further negotiations.

But Unite has made the commitment that there will not be any strike action over the Christmas period so that passengers will be able to visit their friends and relatives. If the dispute remains unresolved strikes will resume in the new year.

Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “The support that Unite has received from the general public has been a terrific boost to our members’ morale. Local people recognise that our members deserve fair pay and it is about time that Stagecoach also accepted this.

“The strike action is being taken as a last resort. A resolution is in Stagecoach’s hands – further industrial action can be avoided if Stagecoach makes a fair pay offer and returns to the negotiating table.”

Stagecoach say staff deserve a good pay rise and have offered a nine per cent rise in the next sixth months, saying they feel the union is being unreasonable not voting on it.

Phil Medlicott, managing director for Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “We remain open to continuing discussions with the union and would urge them to call off this unnecessary action which will cause untold inconvenience to local communities and will hit the pockets of our employees and their families.”