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West Yorkshire bus drivers to strike over pay and safety

West Yorkshire bus drivers to strike over pay and safety

09 November 2016

Over 850 Arriva bus drivers operating out of five depots across West Yorkshire will be taking part in a 24-hour strike on Monday 14 November in a dispute over pay and shifts which see them being forced to drive up to five and a half hours without a break, their union Unite announced today (Wednesday 9 November).

It is expected that the strike involving drivers at depots in Castleford, Dewsbury, Heckmondwike, Selby and Wakefield, will severely disrupt services. The stoppage follows the breakdown of protracted talks with Arriva bosses amid mounting anger among drivers who are seeking a 20 pence an hour pay rise and reduction in driving time behind the wheel.

Drivers want Arriva to reduce the time behind the wheel before a break from five and half hours to five, to more closely align with lorry drivers who legally can only drive for a maximum four and a half hours before taking a break.

Commenting Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “Strike action is not a step our members take lightly, but after nearly 12 months of circular talks they have become increasingly angry about being strung along by Arriva bosses.

“Our members take great pride in the service they provide and given Arriva’s large profits believe it’s only right that they get a modest pay rise which reflects their hard work.

“Importantly they want to provide a service to the travelling public which is safe. That is why Unite has been urging the company to cut the time a driver can spend at the wheel before a break from five and half hours to five. 

“We would urge Arriva bosses to sit back down with us and negotiate meaningfully to avoid disruption to the travelling public.” 

ENDS  

For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869. 

Notes to editors:

  • 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.