September Arriva bus strikes to hit Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire
- Tuesday 23 August 2022
Around 900 bus workers at German-owned giant to strike over real terms pay cut
Staff at bus company Arriva, which has paid £560 million from its UK operations to owner Deutsche Bahn since 2012, will strike from 0300 hrs on 5 September to 0259 hrs on 7 September. More strikes will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved.
Arriva is offering drivers, admin staff, engineers, cleaners and shunters pay rises of between four per cent and six per cent. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, running at 12.3 per cent, this is a pay cut in real terms. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bahn has paid dividends of £5 billion to the German government over the last decade.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Arriva and Deutsche Bahn have funnelled money made by these workers out of the country for years. It is abundantly clear they can afford to pay a decent increase. Instead, and during the worst cost of living crisis for decades, they are asking them to take a real terms wage cut.
“Unite will not accept attacks on our members jobs, pay and conditions and the Arriva workforce will receive Unite’s total support until Arriva comes back with an acceptable offer.”
A further contention in the dispute is that the pay offer for drivers is tied to a reduction of 16.6 per cent in overtime rates. The company also want to end paid time for compulsory duties outside of driving, such as travelling to a bus stop or to pick up a bus mid-route.
Strike action will be taken by staff at Arriva’s depots in Luton, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Ware, Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead. They would severely impact bus services within, to and from Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.
Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge said: “Our members are striking as a last resort because Arriva is refusing to offer a reasonable pay rise, despite being more than able to afford to. The company is responsible for the severe disruption these strikes will cause. We urge them to return with an offer our members can accept to end this dispute as soon as possible.”
For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.
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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.