North West facing Arriva bus strikes over ‘pitiful’ pay offer
- Tuesday 5 July 2022
Bus workers employed by Arriva in the North West have voted in huge numbers for strike action in a dispute over pay.
All out strike action
Unite, the workers’ union, says that all-out continuous strike action will begin on Wednesday 20 July.
Around 1,800 workers returned a 96 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action on a 72 per cent turnout.
Pitiful pay offer
Unite says its members are striking over a pitiful pay offer from the German-owned transport giant of just three per cent with no strings attached, or six per cent which included reductions in sick pay and loss of Saturday enhanced pay. Both the offers are far below the current real inflation rate (RPI) of 11.7 per cent and so constitute a pay cut.
Real terms pay cut
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This dispute is entirely of Arriva’s own making. It can fully afford to ensure its workers receive decent pay and conditions. Instead, Arriva has made our members a pitiful offer. Not only do they want workers to accept a real terms pay cut, they also want them to sacrifice their sick pay. This is just not acceptable.
“Unite will back these members to the hilt until this dispute is resolved and they receive a decent pay increase.”
The depots involved in the dispute are: Birkenhead, Bolton, Bootle, Liverpool, Macclesfield, Manchester, Runcorn, Southport, Speke, St Helens, and Winsford.
Pay rates for bus drivers differ between the various depots but, as an example, drivers at Winsford are paid just £11.08 an hour.
Greed not need
Unite regional officer Dave Roberts said: “The forthcoming strike action is set to cause widespread disruption to bus services throughout the North West. However, this dispute is all about greed not need. Arriva could make its workers a decent offer but it chose not to.
“Even now strikes can be avoided if Arriva made an offer which meets members’ expectations and returns to the negotiating table.”
The GMB union is also involved in the industrial dispute.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.
Email: [email protected]
Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham