Hundreds of bus drivers are to go on strike in a dispute over pay.
Members of the Unite union employed by Stagecoach will walk out on June 30 and again on July 4.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Stagecoach is a highly profitable company – it can easily afford to pay its workers a decent wage but it is choosing not to.
“Unite will always challenge employers who make excessive profits by exploiting and underpaying workers. Our members will receive Unite’s complete support until this dispute is resolved.”
Unite regional officer Dave Roberts said: “Members of Unite are taking strike action as a last resort. Despite extensive negotiations, Stagecoach has refused to make an offer which meets members’ expectations.
“Even at this late stage, strikes and the inevitable disruption they will cause can be avoided if Stagecoach makes a reasonable pay offer.”
In response, Stagecoach Merseyside has urged the Unite union to call off strikes involving employees at its Gillmoss bus depot in Liverpool whilst talks are ongoing, the company told City A.M.
Matt Davies, Managing Director for Stagecoach Merseyside, said: “We are having further talks with Unite this morning to try and reach a solution that is in the best interests of everyone and meets the aspirations of our employees without them having to lose pay through unnecessary strike action.
“We remain absolutely committed to working with our trade unions to provide the best pay packages we can, while also continuing to secure the long-term sustainability of the local bus network for our customers and local communities.
“We are very sensitive to the fact that our people – like many other workers across the economy – are being affected by the rising cost-of-living. In common with other organisations, we are also facing pressures from rising fuel and energy bills, as well as increased supply chain costs, with non-staff costs up 10% since the pandemic.
“We have put forward a good offer which takes into account the fact that we are still carrying far fewer passengers than we were pre-Covid.”