More than 1,300 Go North East bus workers have increased the number of strike action dates they will take part in over a pay dispute.
The employees include bus drivers, engineers, maintenance workers and depot crews and are based at the Consett, Gateshead, Hexham, Percy Main in North Shields, Sunderland and Washington depots.
As members of trade union Unite, they have been taking part in industrial action across the region over the past week and all depots will be on strike a further week from 14 October, while all-out continuous strike action will begin on 28 October.
Go North East employees took strike action as they believe that the pay offer they previously received was below inflation and included cuts to terms and conditions. Go-Ahead Group recorded group profits of nearly £85million.
According to Unite, it warned Go North East last month that further action would be planned if a settlement that members can accept is not put forward. Previous strike action has meant that Go North East was unable to run any of its services other than school buses, which are on a separate contract.
A Go North East spokesperson said: “A week-long strike will begin from 14 October. Unite has called for indefinite industrial action from 28 October. We are incredibly disappointed with this news. Go North East will continue to do all we can to resolve this dispute as quickly as possible. We understand the impact this situation is having on our customers and our local communities and we apologise for any inconvenience this will cause.”
Sharon Graham, general secretary at Unite, added: “This is appalling behaviour from Go North East. Our door remains open for a new offer and Go North East needs to come back to the table. Unite won’t back down in the face of intimidation and we will be backing our members to the hilt during their increased industrial action.”