Workers in Stagecoach depots across the country receive double digit pay rises – Sunderland's drivers want and deserve the same, says GMB Union
Sunderland’s bus strikes are set to continue after drivers turned down a below inflation pay deal. Two thirds of GMB members working for Stagecoach Sunderland rejected the deal, which amounted to a real terms pay cut. The offer was less than the 10 per cent mandate set by drivers.
Stagecoach workers across the UK have enjoyed double digit pay rises in recent weeks. Stagecoach's regional bus services made an operating profit of £58 million in the financial year 2021/22 - more than double the year before.
Almost 200 Sunderland bus drivers have taken several days of strike action already in anger over ‘poverty pay’.
Stuart Gilhespy, GMB Organiser, said:
"GMB held a democratic vote in which the majority of bus drivers voted to reject the offer from Stagecoach.
“It was an offer which Stagecoach knew in advance didn’t meet the mandate set by our members, yet they failed to listen to its own employees needs and instead choose to focus on their own profits.
"Sunderland Stagecoach drivers are in desperate need of a pay rise with the cost-of-living crisis.
“They’ve shown bravery in declining the offer in order to hold out for what they believe they’re worth.
"Sunderland’s drivers have seen workers in Stagecoach depots across the country receive double digit pay rises - they want and deserve the same.
"These workers are standing up to bullying tactics from Stagecoach and striving to achieving a result that is good for them, their families and the local economy.
"The people of Sunderland deserve more than these multinational companies are paying them and need to stand with their local bus drivers as more than ever they need their help."