Doncaster bus passengers warned of disruption as Stagecoach strike looms

Bus passengers in Doncaster and across South Yorkshire face serious disruption if strikes at ‘penny pinching’ Stagecoach go ahead, a union spokesman has said.

Passengers could be hit this autumn and winter if drivers and depot workers vote for strike action over a pay dispute, Unite has said.

Unite, the UK’s leading union, said Stagecoach, which operates as the Yorkshire Traction Company in South Yorkshire, is refusing to offer the more than 560 workers at depots in Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham a reasonable pay rise.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Bosses at Stagecoach's Yorkshire Traction Company should know that Unite is ready for a relentless campaign if our South Yorkshire members vote for strike action.

Stagecoach passengers could be hit with strike action this autumn and winter.

“Unite members all over the UK are taking action right now over Stagecoach’s ‘penny pinching’ on pay. Stagecoach's board should be in no doubt that Unite is wholly dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of our members."

The union says Stagecoach failed to give the workers a pay rise in 2020, even though the company remains extremely profitable.

Notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic, Stagecoach’s latest accounts reveal that the group made a profit of £58.4 million and it has £875 million of available liquidity.

The ballot for strike action opens on Friday 22 October and closes on Monday 8 November. If members vote for industrial action than strikes could begin in mid-November.

Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “Our members are the lowest paid bus workers in the region. They rejected Stagecoach’s latest derisory pay offer by 97 per cent on a turnout of 90 per cent – this shows that a vote for strike action is highly likely.

“Stagecoach needs to put forward a pay offer our members can accept. If passengers face serious disruption this winter, it will be entirely Stagecoach’s fault."

While the majority of bus services in Doncaster are operated by First, Stagecoach operates a number of cross-border services, with routes serving other towns across South Yorkshire as well as routes crossing into West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

Stagecoach is also reponsible for operating the Supertram network of trams in Sheffield.