Merseyside commuters face more strikes disruption as bus services face action

Merseyside commuters face more travel misery after Stagecoach bus drivers and engineers voted for two days of strike action.

The disruption will follow the three days of planned national industrial action this week by RMT staff affecting rail services throughout the country.

Trade Union, Unite, said Stagecoach staff voted for strikes after the company failed to make what it deems a fair pay offer.

The dispute affects 370 members of Unite at the Gilmoss depot of Stagecoach.

Unite said drivers are looking for a fair deal that would raise the current pay rate of £12.69 an hour.

Initial strikes have been called for Thursday, June 30, and Monday, July 4.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Stagecoach is a highly profitable company – it can easily afford to pay its workers a decent wage but it is choosing not to.

“Unite will always challenge employers who make excessive profits by exploiting and underpaying workers. Our members will receive Unite’s complete support until this dispute is resolved.”

Stagecoach trades as Ribble Motor Services on Merseyside.

Unite says Stagecoach’s profits have dramatically increased, claiming its accounts for the second half of 2021 revealed that profits had more than doubled from £16.1m to £32.9m.

Unite regional officer, Dave Roberts, said: “Members of Unite are taking strike action as a last resort. Despite extensive negotiations Stagecoach has refused to make an offer which meets members’ expectations.

“Even at this late stage strikes and the inevitable disruption they will cause can be avoided if Stagecoach makes a reasonable pay offer. The ball is in its court.”

Industrial action is forecast to increase during the summer as the cost-of-living crisis deepens, putting household budgets under increasing pressure.

The latest inflation figures released today showed that Consumer Price Index inflation has risen in the year to May to 9.1%. The Bank of England predicts it will surpass 11% by October this year.

Stagecoach has been contacted for comment.

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