Go North East face a series of strikes across North East England from Friday 15 March. They are in response to a below inflation pay offer, and will involve 1,435 workers.
The company offered a two per cent pay increase for 2012/3 which was rejected by the drivers. The company then made a second offer - a two year deal - which simply repeated the operator's original offer for 2012/3 plus an offer of 2.5 per cent in 2013/4. Predictably, the offer was rejected.
In 2012 Go North East made £7.2 million in profit and is on target to make £7.4 million in 2013. It is part of the giant Go-Ahead group, and operates services in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham and Teeside.
Unite regional officer Fazia Hussain-Brown said: "The company's below inflation pay offer means a pay cut in real terms when prices are going up. The drivers take home £240 a week, they are struggling to support their families, with some having to rely on benefits."
The 24 hour stoppages will be on 15, 18 and 23 March. The strike ballot saw a 77% turn out, with 60% voting for strikes