Industrial action on the buses ‘inevitable’

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Unite Scotland has warned that unless there is a significant shift in Stagecoach Group’s pay offers in Scotland, then industrial action on the buses by the end of the month will be inevitable.

The announcement comes after staff in Brodick, and across Scotland, voted for industrial action over a pay dispute.

On Arran, but not elsewhere, this would be short of strike action.


Unite says that 1,000 Stagecoach workers, including drivers, engineering staff, administrative workers, and cleaners, from across Scotland are backing the action.

It also confirmed that around 600 of its members in Fife, Perth and Strathtay rejected the latest pay offer from Stagecoach East of 2.4 per cent – backdated to May 2021 – by 90 per cent.

Unite has demanded that Stagecoach meets its fair pay claim of the Retail Price Index inflation figure which is at 3.8 per cent as of July, plus one per cent.

It also pointed out that Stagecoach’s latest accounts show that the group made a profit of £58.4m and that it has more than £875m of available liquidity.


Dougie Maguire, Unite regional coordinator, said: ‘We want to emphasise that Unite’s ambition has been to solve this dispute amicably, and without our members having to take strike action.

‘Yet, our members have had no option but to consider walking because the company hasn’t done enough talking.

‘The company needs to make a significant shift in its pay offers to end this dispute or industrial action in the coming weeks will be inevitable.’

Speaking before the strike ballot last month, a Stagecoach spokeswoman said: ‘Separate pay discussions are taking place in different parts of the country and are at different stages.

‘We have put fair offers to Unite in these locations and we very much remain open to continuing discussions with the union to reach agreement.’

The industrial action covers major bus depots including Brodick, Ardrossan, Ayr,  Cumbernauld, Dumfries, Dundee, Fife, Angus, Inverness, Highlands and Islands, Kilmarnock, and Perth, and if it does go ahead it is also likely to involve disruption to the COP26 climate change conference being held in Glasgow at the end of the month.