October 16, 2021
From Cautiously Pessimistic

Strike supporters blocking a bus at the Queens Road depot in Manchester, earlier this year

Recent weeks have seen transport workers taking or threatening action for pay demands in a number of areas. These disputes have been broken up among two different unions, and seem to be mostly conducted as solely local disputes with little attempt to coordinate at a national scale. Trying to put these pieces together may give us a clearer picture of what the potential for a strike wave this winter could be, and what the limitations might be.

A few disputes have now been called off after workers have accepted a new offer – this has been the case among Dartford DHL Sainsbury’s lorry drivers, who won a 6.2% rise, Stagecoach drivers in Lancashire, who won a 4.4% rise, and Manchester tram drivers, who have now accepted a 3% rise after rejecting two previous offers.

Bus drivers organised in both RMT and Unite are currently suspending action while voting on a new offer in similar disputes in the Midlands, where bus staff in Mansfield and Chesterfield had been due to take action.

At time of writing, strike action is still due to go ahead starting on Monday 18th October in Stagecoach South West, Tuesday 19th October in Stagecoach South West, and Tuesday 26th October in Stagecoach Greater Manchester. Drivers in the South West have rejected one offer already, with the RMT publishing details of how Stagecoach’s pay offer included harsh cuts to sick pay and other terms and conditions.

More areas could shortly join the list of bus disputes, as workers at Kinchbus in the East Midlands are currently balloting for action, along with those at Stagecoach Scotland. Meanwhile, staff at Scotrail and Caledonian Sleeper services are due to strike over pay in November, although their dispute pre-dates the current wave of action, as the Scotrail dispute has now been running for over seven months.

Source: Nothingiseverlost.wordpress.com