29 Nov 2010

Ballot for strikes in Brighton & Hove

Workers at Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company balloted last Thursday over the company’s latest pay offer. The Unite union has urged its members to reject the offer and asked them whether they are willing to take industrial action. The company is part of the Go-Ahead Group.
One worker, who wanted to remain anonymous, criticised the company’s insistence on buying buses rather than improving on the 2% pay rise offered to workers. He said: "The bus company is buying buses every year when they plead poverty. “They care more for the passengers than the drivers. Passenger numbers increase year on year, fares increase and traffic and stress increase. The bus company verbally praises the drivers but does not back that up."
Another worker said: “The feeling is this isn’t a fair offer, considering this is a very profitable company. There is a feeling they are not willing to negotiate.”
Workers have already voted to reject the 2% pay rise due next month, claiming it will actually amount to a 2.6% pay cut taking into account rises in the cost of living. The new ballot concerns the latest offer which maintains the level of pay rise but also suggests reducing the working week by one hour and recasting holiday rotas. Unite claims none of the concessions will put money in their members’ pockets.

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