Merthyr Tydfil: Stagecoach strike due as schools reopen

  • Published
A Stagecoach bus
Image caption,
Discussions are due to take place between the union and Stagecoach on Friday

Bus drivers and engineers in Merthyr Tydfil have voted to go strike as the new school term begins.

Staff working at Stagecoach's base in the south Wales town will walk out on 6 September in a dispute over pay, the GMB union said.

Gareth Morgans, GMB organiser,  said he hoped the company would put forward an offer that would "avoid this chaos".

Stagecoach said it was "disappointed" with the union's decision.

The strike centres around an alleged pay disparity which GMB claims leaves staff in Merthyr paid about £1 an hour less than their counterparts in neighbouring Porth, Rhondda Cyon Taf.

Mr Morgans said: "If you were paid a pound an hour less for doing the same job as your colleague, you'd be pretty annoyed wouldn't you?"

He claimed the situation with Stagecoach had "gone on for years" and the ball was "very much in their court".

Image caption,
Gareth Morgans said the ball is "very much" in Stagecoach's court

A Stagecoach spokeswoman said the firm was "disappointed" with the decision "particularly when bus networks are requiring taxpayer support as a result of the pandemic and the focus should be on protecting the long-term sustainability of services".

She said Stagecoach remained "committed to offering good packages" to its staff which "reflect the local economic conditions, the varying costs of running services and the level of passenger journeys".

Overall pay and conditions should be taken into account and not a selective focus on one element, she added.

Stagecoach said it was holding "continuing discussions" with the GMB.