Pay offer 'insult to bus drivers'

London facing bus strikes due to Arriva’s ‘pathetic’ pay offer

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Bus services across London face severe disruption later this month, as bus drivers employed by Arriva announce strike action due to the company’s failure to make an acceptable pay offer.

The 1,000 drivers who are members of Unite are employed at depots in Brixton, Croydon, Norwood and Thornton Heath. They operate routes across south and central London.

The first 24-hour strike will take place on Monday, March 21 and a further 48-hour strike is scheduled for, March 28. If there is no breakthrough in the dispute then further industrial action will be announced.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Arriva’s pay offer is pathetic and it is an insult to bus drivers who continued to work throughout the pandemic risking their health to ensure London could continue to function.

“Our bus drivers at Arriva will have Unite’s full support until the company makes a realistic pay offer and this dispute is resolved.”

Arriva has offered the workers a pay offer of just 1.5 per cent, which in reality is a sizeable pay cut with the real level of inflation (retail price index) currently standing at 7.8 per cent.

The drivers delivered a resounding yes vote in favour of industrial action with over 95 per cent supporting strikes.

Unite regional officer John Murphy added, “The strikes will cause considerable disruption to bus passengers throughout London and Kent but this dispute is entirely of Arriva’s own making. Arriva has had every chance to make a fair pay offer but has chosen not to do so.

“Even at this late stage delays and disruption across London can be avoided if Arriva is prepared to make a realistic pay offer and returns to the negotiating table.”

The proposed disputes involving Arriva workers at the Dartford and Grays depots have been resolved after the drivers accepted improved pay offers.

By Barckley Sumner

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