Over 650 bus workers employed by Arriva in Yorkshire are being balloted for strike action in a dispute over low pay.

Low pay

The dispute is a result of Arriva offering a pay increase of just 4.1 per cent, which is less than half of the real inflation rate (RPI) of nine per cent.

The strike will involve Arriva workers, including bus drivers and engineers, based at depots in Castleford, Dewsbury, Heckmondwike, Selby and Wakefield.

Cost of living crisis

Many of the company’s bus drivers are struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living crisis continues to bite. New starters are on just £9.78 an hour, just 28p an hour above the minimum wage.

The ballot opened this week and will close on Monday 23 May. If workers vote in favour of industrial action then strikes could begin in early June.

Arriva must think again

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This offer is a pay cut and is unacceptable to Unite. Arriva has to think again and come back with an offer that fully reflects this cost of living crisis.

 “Unite is totally dedicated to defending and improving our members' jobs, pay and conditions. Our Arriva members have the full support of their union in this fight to secure a decent pay deal.”

Strike action will cause severe disruption to bus services across North and West Yorkshire.

Severe disruption expected

Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “Strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption to bus passengers across Yorkshire but this dispute is entirely of Arriva’s own making as workers are not prepared to accept poverty pay rates any longer.

“Disruption can be avoided if Arriva makes a pay offer which meets members’ expectations.”

ENDS

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

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.