Trade union calls in ACAS for talks with Stagecoach ahead of bus strike action on Monday

By Nick Knight   |   Editor   |
Thursday 14th October 2021 3:22 pm
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TRADE union negotiators have called on ACAS to attend their next meeting with Stagecoach South West ahead of Monday’s strike.

Bus union RMT today confirmed that a strike on Stagecoach South West will go ahead on Monday after rejecting a revised company pay offer.

A meeting has been called tomorrow, Friday, with the company.

Barry West, Regional Organiser RMT, said: ‘It is disappointing to see statements from the company today where they have again misrepresented the facts, mischaracterised the negotiations and further more misleading the public with statements that do not tell them the whole story.

‘We recognise that buses are a vital lifeline and that why our members are proud to serve the public and to have worked right throughout the pandemic delivering health workers and keeping the wheels turning so others could get to work keep the economy going in some way or visit loved ones.

‘Many of them suffered the effects of Covid and sadly two lost their lives here in Devon working for Stagecoach Bus.

‘The proposals that the Company consistently place before the representatives have been draconian and show a total lack of understanding about the difficulties that our members face in trying to pay their bills and to take care of loved ones that are sick or vulnerable.

‘The savage cuts to sick pay for example would mean members who may have mental health issues suffering from a personal injury or a poor health would be required to have their sick pay cut to a level that might well push them over the edge at a time when they most need understanding support and compassion.

‘Reduction, company sick pay Reduced to 60% with 3 waiting days for 6 months and terminally ill staff receiving only £10.00 per hour until the exhaustion of company sick pay.

‘It shows utter contempt and no understanding of the hardships that low paid workers suffer at such times, such measures penalise families and dependents also and the result will mean exceptional suffering and hardship to many.’

The Mid-Devon Advertiser reported this week that the strike had been called off while negotiations continue, but Barry West insisted the strike had not been called off.

Mike Watson, managing director at Stagecoach South West, said: ‘We have worked tirelessly to protect the jobs of our people during the pandemic and have left no stone unturned to deliver a fair and sustainable pay agreement for employees.’

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