Bus passengers in Yorkshire are braced for substantial strike action next month as workers challenge Arriva’s failure to tackle low pay.
Over 650 members of Unite have recorded 96 per cent vote in favour of strike action following the company’s pitiful offer of a 4.1 per cent pay increase, far below the real inflation rate (RPI) which currently stands at 11.1 per cent.
Indefinite (all out) strike action will begin on Monday, June 6 involving bus drivers and engineers based at depots in Castleford, Dewsbury, Heckmondwike, Selby and Wakefield.
Unite says that German-owned Arriva’s low pay across Yorkshire means bus workers are struggling to make ends meet amid the cost of living crisis. Newly recruited bus drivers are paid only £9.78 an hour – just 28 pence above the minimum wage
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Arriva is part of a multi-billion company. It has no business demanding that workers get by on pitiful low pay so that its boardroom can get ever-richer. Arriva can easily afford to pay decently – it should do just that, or face industrial action.
“Unite’s members, like all workers, are being pummelled by the cost of living crisis – they cannot and will not accept a real terms pay cut. Unite will be giving our members its full and total support until this dispute is resolved.”
Unite regional officer Phil Bown added, “Strike action will inevitably cause significant disruption and delays for the Yorkshire travelling public but this dispute is entirely of Arriva’s own making. Our members are already suffering from poverty pay and the company is trying to make the situation even worse.
“Even at this late stage strike action and the disruption it will cause can still be avoided if Arriva makes a realistic pay offer and returns to the negotiating table.”
By Barckley Sumner