Union reveals staff are ‘handing in their notices’ at a Worksop bus depot - as employees take industrial action and services are cancelled due to 'driver shortages'
A union official has revealed staff are ‘handing in their notices’ at a Worksop bus depot - as current employees take industrial action over pay and services are cancelled due to 'driver shortages'.
Rail, Maritime and Transport union members at the Stagecoach depot, in Hardy Street, have voted for a ban on overtime and rest-day working as part of a nationwide push for better pay at Stagecoach.
The industrial action is taking place from Friday, September 17 to 11.59pm on Friday, October 1, and again between 12.01am on Friday, October 8, to 11.59pm on Friday, October 22.
A source claimed 10 members of staff at the depot, and another eight in training had walked out in protest.
Stagecoach have been experiencing a national staff shortage which has led to many services cancelled, with more than a dozen services in and around Worksop cancelled on a daily basis.
Bosses said they expected the industrial action to have a ‘minimal impact’ on services.
According to the RMT, Stagecoach bus drivers have not received a pay rise in two years and their wage currently sits ‘just above the national minimum wage’ at around £10.83 per hour.
RMT regional organiser of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Gary Jackson, said: “Any pay rise under inflation is a pay cut in our eyes, and our members, they’re not on mega money.
“Their wages have been going up by one per cent, two per cent year on year, which is well under inflation. So in reality, they’re taking a pay cut.
“These people are key workers at the end of the day, they worked through the pandemic, getting the nurses to the hospitals, moving people around that needed to be moved around.
“When a lot of people had the option to work from home, these bus drivers didn't. They just feel like they're undervalued.
“Everyday there is people handing in their notices, because they've had enough.”
Stagecoach and the union have been in discussions since May.
A Stagecoach East Midlands spokesperson said: "We are continuing to run the majority of our services.
"However, local people who depend on buses to get to work and access public services, as well as local businesses struggling to recover from the pandemic, will be dismayed that the RMT is taking action which will disrupt their services in the weeks ahead.
“It is particularly counter-productive when bus networks are requiring taxpayer support as a result of the pandemic and the focus of everyone should be on protecting the long-term sustainability of services for the local community.
"We are committed to offering good packages for our people that reflect the local economic conditions, the varying costs of running services and the level of passenger journeys, which are currently at only 70 per cent of pre-Covid levels across the country.
"The union's demands are unrealistic and unaffordable, and it has failed to put the numerous offers we have made to a ballot of its members.
"We very much remain open to continuing discussions with the union and would urge them to return to constructive talks."
Mr Jackson added: “There is an agreement to be had.
“I don't think we're a million miles away from getting a deal, I'm willing to discuss an offer anytime anyplace that the company wants to.”