Manchester bus drivers to strike throughout August over pay row

Stagecoach Manchester

More than 1,000 Manchester Stagecoach bus drivers will strike for four days next month after overwhelmingly rejecting management’s pay offer.

Unite the Union says the company has offered a pay rise of four per cent, from June this year, with a further four per cent in December.

The trade union says that with the current rate of inflation, RPI, standing at 10.7%, this is a real terms pay cut.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Stagecoach is bringing in massive profits and can well afford to give its drivers a reasonable pay increase.

“The company must put forward an offer that acknowledges rising living costs and the demands of what is a difficult and stressful job.

“Unite’s top priority is our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and Manchester’s Stagecoach drivers have the full backing of their union.”

Strike action will take place on August 11, 12, 13 and 14.

Bus services across the whole of Manchester will be affected. More strikes will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved.

Unite regional officer, Colin Hayden, said: “Stagecoach bears full responsibility for the disruption that will be caused to passengers.

“This dispute could have been settled with a sensible offer weeks ago and our members are striking as a last resort.

“Unite’s door remains open and we urge the company to return the negotiating table with an offer our members can accept.”

Stagecoach apologised to customers for the significant disruption that would be caused if the strike action goes ahead.

Lee Wasnidge, managing director of Stagecoach Manchester, said: “We are disappointed that Unite the Union has advised us that its members have voted to strike.

“We have been working hard to agree a pay settlement and we are ready and willing to continue these discussions so we can agree a settlement for our drivers as quickly as possible.

“Over the past 10 years our drivers have consistently received pay increases above the level of CPI inflation, and we truly believe that our offer of an increase of up to 23% between now and December 2024 is a good pay deal that would assist our drivers with the increases in the cost of living.”

He added: “We would urge Unite the Union to continue working with us to find a way forward rather than resorting to unnecessary strike action that will be damaging to everyone and cause disruption to our customers who rely on our services to get to work and for appointments.”