The Unite union has called off a series of strikes by bus drivers in Greater Manchester after operator Stagecoach made an improved pay offer.
A Unite spokesperson said: ‘Following pay talks held yesterday with Stagecoach Manchester a new pay offer has been tabled and our members will now be balloted on the offer. As a gesture of goodwill the strike dates that have been announced will be suspended.’
Lee Wasnidge, managing director of Stagecoach Manchester, said: ‘We have had very positive discussions with Unite today, and are pleased to have reached an agreement with the union that provides a fair deal for our employees in Manchester and helps to secure the long-term sustainability of the local bus network for our local communities.
‘We remain focused on delivering the best service possible to our customers at a time when there are challenges facing bus networks across the country as a result of the pandemic and other factors outside our control.’
Unite had warned of severe travel disruption after what it said was an overwhelming vote in favour of strike action in response to the company ‘failing to make a realistic pay offer’.
Strikes were due to begin on 26 October with a total of eight strike days up to 12 November involving over 1,000 drivers based at the company’s depots in Hyde Road, Sharston, Stockport and Ashton.
Elsewhere, Unite said that planned strikes scheduled next week by bus staff based at the Stonegravels bus depot in Chesterfield employed by Stagecoach-owned Yorkshire Traction Company, have also been suspended following an improved pay offer.
However, the union said members employed by Stagecoach in Wales are ‘set for significant industrial action’ following a breakdown in talks with ACAS.