A second 24-hour bus strike in Leeds is set to go ahead on Monday (20 June), after talks broke down yesterday because of management intransigence, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Friday 17 June).
A thousand bus workers at the Bramley and Hunslet Park depots in Leeds will strike from 02.01 on Monday - for the second successive Monday – in a dispute over a ‘pitiful’ pay offer.
Talks between Unite and the management of First West Yorkshire, under the umbrella of the conciliation service Acas, broke down after the hardline management refused to improve its offer. First Bus drivers in Halifax earn nearly £2 an hour more than their Leeds’ counterparts.
Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “Regretfully, we are no further forward resolving the current dispute. The company tabled a new offer that was significantly less than its original offer last week – which rather defeats the object of negotiations.
“We went to the Acas meeting in good faith with a determination to find a way forward, not least for the bus commuters in Leeds, but after several hours of talks the company proposed a two-year deal that in real terms is worse than what the members went on strike over last Monday.
“This pitiful offer contrasts with the fact that First Bus has announced a UK-wide annual bus profit in this week of about £52 million, with a third of that profit coming from its Leeds operation.
“The bosses are now playing hard ball with the company saying it will not allow any member to do any overtime next week which will mean that it will have to withdraw some services after Monday which will cause more disruption to the travelling public in Leeds.
“Concern for the travelling public appears to the last thing on the management’s mind, and it is more concerned in attacking Unite than settling this dispute in a fair and equitable fashion.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.