Unite, the UK’s leading union, has stepped up industrial action in the long-running Arriva Kent bus dispute as a direct result of the company refusing to return to the negotiating table.

Fresh strikes

Following the latest two days of industrial action this week, on Monday 10 October and today (11 October), the 600 bus drivers involved in the dispute will take strike action on 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 October and then on 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 November.

Wages for the workers, who are based at depots in Gillingham, Gravesend, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, start at just £12.36 an hour. They are seeking a pay increase that is in line with the real inflation rate and which also addresses years of pay erosion.

Arriva failure

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite is stepping up its industrial action as a direct result of Arriva’s failure to make workers a fair pay offer. This is a very wealthy company that can easily afford to pay workers properly but refuses to do so. 

“Unite is determined that Arriva workers in Kent get a fair share of the pie and our members have the full backing of their union in their fight for fair pay.”

Wealthy company

Arriva is owned by Deutsche Bahn, one of the largest transport companies in the world and effectively owned by the German government. In the last 10 years, Arriva’s UK bus division has paid £560 million to Deutsche Bahn in Germany in profit transfers.

Over the last decade, Deutsche Bahn has paid dividends of £5 billion to the German government.

Disruption inevitable 

Unite regional officer Janet Nobbs said: “The latest round of strikes will inevitably cause considerable delays and disruption to Kent’s bus passengers, but the industrial action is a direct result of the high-handed manner with which Arriva has acted throughout this dispute.”


Notes to editors

October strike dates announced in Arriva Kent bus strike

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.