Go North East drivers vote for strike action over poor pay

North East bus network will see mass walkout by over a thousand workers following below-inflation offers.

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Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, warned today (Wednesday 13 September) that over thirteen hundred members are to strike and bring bus services in north-east England to a standstill after its members voted for industrial action over pay.

The ballot was 98 per cent in favour of industrial action with nearly an 85 per cent turn out.

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Go North East drivers and engineers have been offered a derisory, below-inflation, pay offer that included cuts to terms and conditions. Additionally, administrative and clerical staff have not had any pay offer at all.

Go North East can easily afford to increase pay offers given the latest accounts of its parent company, the Go-Ahead Group shows bus group profits of nearly £85million.

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Depots that will be affected by any industrial action are: Consett, Gateshead, Hexham, Percy Main (North Shields), Sunderland and Washington.

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Go North East should be ashamed of themselves. They’ve failed our members and are failing the public by not coming back to the table with an improved pay offer for workers performing a vital service.

“Unite will be backing our members to the hilt during their industrial action and their campaign for better pay and conditions.”

Unite regional officer, Dave Telford, added: “Go Ahead can afford to pay their workers properly and fairly and are choosing not to.

“They are now in the last chance saloon to come back to the table with an improved offer before our members head to the picket line.”

Strike dates will be announced in due course.