West Norfolk bus drivers vote for strike action in pay dispute

King's Lynn Buses New livery ANL-150826-190850009
King's Lynn Buses New livery ANL-150826-190850009
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Bus drivers in West Norfolk have voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action in a dispute over pay.

It was revealed last week that RMT union members who work for Stagecoach in Norfolk, formerly Norfolk Green, were being balloted for possible strike action.

Officials announced late last night that almost 90 per cent of the members who voted had backed the idea of a walk-out.

And more than 98 per cent voted for action short of a strike, such as an overtime ban.

It is not yet clear when, or if, any walk-outs will be called, but union officials have told the Lynn News an emergency meeting will be held this weekend following the vote.

Andy Campbell, managing director of Stagecoach East, which oversees the Lynn depot, confirmed this afternoon that they had been made aware of the result of the ballot.

He said they were now awaiting further communication from the union following their meeting, which is due to take place on Sunday.

The dispute stems from a pay offer made by managers which the union claims is inadequate.

Drivers are currently paid £8.50 an hour with a 75p an hour attendance allowance.

The company has offered a 40p increase in the hourly rate, with 25p of that being drawn from the existing attendance allowance.

But RMT officials say the full 75p allowance should be incorporated into drivers’ basic pay terms and claimed members were “gobsmacked” by the offer, which they unanimously rejected.

However, the company insisted the offer was fair, above the rate of inflation and addressed a number of concerns which had previously been raised by the union.

Mr Campbell said the company was willing to hold further talks with the union, but warned they were “a long way apart” in their original positions.