Around 2,000 bus drivers across Liverpool, Manchester and the north west of England who have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action are likely to begin striking this weekend.  

Unite, the UK’s leading union, said Arriva North West was responsible for the likelihood of all-out strike action, which is scheduled to begin this Saturday (30 October), due to its failure to offer a decent wage increase. 

Pay negotiations between Unite and Arriva North West have been running since June. On Wednesday and Thursday this week members will vote on the company’s last minute offer of 2 per cent, which Unite believes will be rejected. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The last thing our members want to do is cause disruption to the public, but they have been forced into this position by Arriva’s outright refusal to negotiate in good faith. 

“They have the full backing of their union, Unite, in their fight for a pay rise that reflects their worth. Arriva still has time to avoid these strikes, which is why I am urging the company to table a much stronger offer.”

The ballot of 1,800 staff, based at depots in Runcorn, Bootle, Birkenhead, St Helens, Liverpool, Southport, Winsford and Manchester, resulted in an 87 per cent vote in favour of strike action, with a turnout of 76 per cent. 

Unite regional officer Alison Spencer-Scragg said: “Unite’s reps have bent over backwards during negotiations to find a way forward that would avoid strike action. Talks went down to the wire last week, but Arriva’s unsatisfactory last minute offer means strikes are likely to begin this weekend.  

“Bus drivers were rightly hailed as heroes during the worst days of the pandemic and our members believe that Arriva should make an offer that reflects this.” 


Notes to editors:

Arriva risking North West bus travel disruption with subpar pay offer

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.