Hundreds of bus workers have announced an indefinite strike over pay following the latest transport worker demonstrations this summer.

Engineers and drivers working for Stagecoach Merseyside will walk out indefinitely on July 20, Unite has announced.

They’ve already broken down the tools this month, and will be showing their work on July 15th and 18th.

According to Stagecoach, 370 workers were offered a pay rise of more than 10% last month but it was rejected.

Stagecoach staff in Worthing, West Sussex, have received a 15.8% rise, according to Unite.

The country was hit by a rail strike two weeks ago, while BA staff paused output after the airline offered “significantly improved” pay.

It is part of what some call “the summer of discontent” amid pressure from the cost-of-living crisis and the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Strikes are also set to be discussed across the continent, including for easyJet staff in Spain later this month.

“Stagecoach is a rich company, it can afford to pay fairly”

Stagecoach said Unite refused to join the talks through Acas, which mediates such discussions.

Speaking about the Merseyside walkout, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Stagecoach is a rich company, it can easily afford to pay fairly and Unite is determined to ensure that it does.

“Our members just want to get a rate for their work and are not going to put up with being underpaid for even a minute.

“However, Stagecoach’s refusal to make an offer that would have resolved the dispute has led to the escalation of mass protests.

“Unite will give our members full union support until they receive an acceptable pay rise.”

Matt Davies, managing director of Stagecoach Merseyside, said: “We have continued to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to reach a fair settlement.

“Akas is ready and willing to support joint negotiations, but it is very disappointing that Unite has firmly blocked our olive industry.

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“We remain 100% committed to reaching an agreement with Unite, but that can only be achieved through conversation and commitment and flexibility from both sides.

“It’s hard to see how a union can recommend our above-inflation pay offer in one breath and call a general strike the next.”

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