The Rail Maritime & Transport union (RMT) today confirmed that members on Stagecoach South West buses have voted overwhelmingly for both strike action and action short of a strike over a pay dispute.
It says over 78% of of its members voted for strike action while nearly 90% voted for action short of a strike. “RMT members are angry that the company has tabled a pay and conditions package that doesn’t even keep pace with the Retail Price Index and which would condemn a key group of transport staff who are already on low pay levels to a de facto pay cut. Today’s inflation rise has rubbed yet more salt in the wound.”
The dispute involves over 750 drivers, cleaners and engineering grades at the Exeter, Torquay and Barnstaple garages.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash says: “Bus workers in the South West provide an essential service across a wide geographical area and they deserve a fair deal on pay. At the moment they are being offered a package that stacks up to a de facto pay cut and RMT’s executive has agreed with our local branches that that is entirely unacceptable.
“RMT negotiators have made every effort in talks to reach a negotiated settlement but the company have come up well short of what our members both expect and deserve for the hard work they put in day in and day out. The RMT National Executive Committee will now meet to decide what action to take given this massive mandate from our members.
“As ever, RMT remains available for serious and meaningful talks.”