Bus drivers employed by Arriva will begin strike action later this month in opposition to the company’s plans to close its Jesmond depot.

All out strike

The strike will involve over 100 bus drivers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union.  Beginning on Thursday 21 October, it will be an all-out (continuous) strike.

The drivers recorded a 97 per cent vote in favour of industrial action.

Depot closure

The Jesmond depot is due to close on Monday 31 October. The closure threatens jobs and will result in a poorer bus service throughout Newcastle and Northumberland. The company has failed to adequately consult Unite over its plans.

Cynical Arriva

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Arriva is cynically seeking to boost its profits at the expense of the livelihoods and well-being of its drivers and passengers.

 “Our members have voted decisively to defend this depot and they will receive Unite’s total support during this dispute.”

Hugely wealthy

Arriva is owned by Deutsche Bahn which is one of the largest transport companies in the world and is effectively owned by the German government. In the last 10 years, Arriva’s UK bus division has paid £560 million to Deutsche Bahn. Deutsche Bahn is extremely profitable, paying dividends of £5 billion to the German government during the last decade.

Last resort

Unite regional officer Dave Telford: “Strike action will cause severe disruption to passengers in the short-term but the closure of the Jesmond depot will result in a permanent reduction in services for local bus users.

“This action is being taken as a last resort and is entirely of Arriva’s own making.  The company needs to enter into constructive negotiations with Unite on alternatives to closure.”


Notes to editors

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

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.