AROUND 250 Go Cornwall Bus drivers are being balloted for strike action over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday, June 24).

The workers are demanding that their wages be brought more in line with their colleagues in other parts of the country.

For instance, Go Ahead drivers in Oxford are currently paid £2.84 more per hour than the Cornwall drivers, while drivers in Brighton are paid £1.83 more.

Unite states even under Go Ahead’s current 2024 offer for the Cornwall drivers, Oxford drivers would still be earning £2.24 an hour more, while drivers in Brighton would be paid £1.23 an hour more.

Cornwall drivers are demanding their wages be increased by 6.6 per cent to £16 per hour for 2024, instead of the £15.60 Go Ahead is currently offering to narrow the pay difference.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Go Cornwall Bus drivers will not be treated as second class employees by Go Ahead any longer. This is a highly profitable company and can well afford to put forward a better offer. Go Ahead’s Cornwall’s drivers have their union’s total support.”

Go Ahead reported in March revenues of £3.2 billion and profits of £89 million.

The industrial action ballot will close on July 1, strikes, which could begin later next month, would severely impact bus services across Cornwall.

Unite regional officer Dave Smith said: “Go Ahead is set on causing chaos to the travelling public because it wants to employ Cornwall drivers on the cheap.

“There is still time to avoid industrial action, but that requires Go Ahead to put forward an acceptable offer that considers the large pay disparity between Cornwall and its operations elsewhere.”

Around 350 Go Ahead Plymouth Bus drivers are also being balloted for strike action as part of the same dispute.

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