23 Nov 2011

Report from Barnsley picket

Bus workers in South Yorkshire struck on Friday of last week and Monday of this week. Members of Unite at Stagecoach’s Barnsley and Rawmarsh depots walked out over pay.
One picket told Socialist Worker, “Even Stagecoach drivers in other parts of the county get more than we do.” Friday morning saw more than 40 workers on lively, confident picket lines outside the Barnsley bus station and the bus garage.
The company has tried to break the strike with scab drivers. Over 100 have been brought in and put up in hotels to operate routes at a flat fare of £1 on strike days.
Even larger numbers of pickets turned out on Monday morning. One potential passenger told the pickets, “I’m going to walk to the hospital rather than take a scab bus. I was a miner for 25 years and you have my full support.”
One worker said, “The dispute has been going on since April. We’ve been trying to get a top rate of £9 an hour, which is still £2.50 an hour less than Arriva, plus back pay. “Stagecoach spent a fortune on drafting in drivers and putting them up in hotels for strike days. I think our boss is on a power trip.” The workers plan to strike again on 2 and 3 December.

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