500 Liverpool bus drivers to walk out in June

Almost 500 Liverpool bus drivers will stage a walkout in June with union leaders claiming they are being ‘paid on the cheap’. Tony McDonough reports

Arriva, Hanover, Stagecoach
Liverpool Stagecoach drivers will stage a walkout in June. Picture by Tony McDonough


Almost 500 Liverpool drivers at bus company Stagecoach will walk out for six days in June in a pay dispute.

They claim drivers at Stagecoach rival Arriva are being paid £1.40 an hour more than them. This is leaving them around £3,000 a year worse off. 

Now union leaders at Unite, which is representing the drivers, say they will walk out from Thursday, June 13, to Tuesday, June 18. This will coincide with three Taylor Swift converts, and one by Pink, taking place at Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium.

Unite says the level of pay is unacceptable for a business that has just announced half-year revenues of £773.2m and operating profits of £51.1m.

General secretary Sharon Graham said: “For too long Stagecoach has gotten away with paying its Liverpool drivers on the cheap. It can totally afford to equalise pay with Arriva and that is what needs to happen.

“Unite’s Liverpool Stagecoach members have their union’s total backing in striking for a fair pay rise.”

Union leaders say if the dispute is not resolved industrial action will escalate, including the possibility of indefinite all out strikes.

Regional officer Brian Troake added: “Our members have been forced into strike action by Stagecoach’s continued attempts to keep them on unfair rates of pay. Stagecoach owes an apology for the disruption it will cause to the travelling public.

“There is still time to avoid industrial action, but that requires Stagecoach to return to the negotiating table with an offer our members can accept.”

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A spokesperson for Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire said: “We have worked closely with union representatives to try to agree a pay deal.

“Throughout this process, we have done our utmost to present an offer that meets their expectations whilst also being affordable for the long-term sustainability of the region’s bus network.

“We have made a very fair pay offer to our employees of 4.2%, which is 1.9% higher than current inflation rates and we will continue to work constructively to reach a resolution.

“Contingency plans are also being prepared which will allow us to operate as many services for our customers as possible in the event the union presses ahead with unnecessary strike action.”

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