Bus crews vote for 10 days of strike action

Stagecoach East operate across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough

Stagecoach East operate across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Bedfordshire. - Credit: Archant

400 workers at Cambus -including drivers, engineers, cleaners and shunters – have voted to hold 10 days of strike action in January. 

Unite said its members – based at Cambridge,  Fenstanton and Peterborough had voted by 96 per cent to hold the strike days which will run from January 4 through to Thursday January 20. 

The union says its members have not had a pay rise since April, 2019. 

The workers employed by Cambus Ltd, part of Stagecoach, rejected a 1.5 per cent pay offer from April 2021. 

Bosses had also offered a 1.5 per cent this month for the pay year 2021/22 but the offer has been dismissed by Unite. 

Unite regional officer Mark Plumb said: “Our members should not pay for the continuing pandemic, while the employer has readily scooped up UK taxpayer support, including cash from the furlough scheme.  

“The 10 days of strike action will, unfortunately, cause travel chaos for bus users across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 

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“However, there is now a window of opportunity for the management to come forward with a realistic pay offer for our members that reflects the fast-rising rate of inflation, otherwise the strikes will go-ahead.” 

The union says this is at a time when the RPI rate of inflation has soared to 7.1 per cent. 

Darren Roe, managing director for Stagecoach East said: "Stagecoach has reached agreements with Unite for thousands of employees covering the majority of our depots across the UK. 

“There is no reason why an agreement cannot be reached for our people in Cambridge, Fenstanton and Peterborough.” 

He said: “We are fully committed to working constructively with Unite to deliver pay proposals that are fair to our people.” 

But he warned that pay awards had also to “ensure the long-term sustainability of the bus network for local communities at a time when passenger numbers are significantly below pre-Covid levels.  
 
"We have further talks planned with Unite next week and remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached with local union representatives.” 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “We will be standing 100 per cent behind our members at Cambus.” 

He said: “Despite Stagecoach pleading poverty, the company remains extremely profitable with its latest accounts revealing that the group made a profit of £58.4 million.”