Bus drivers in Cheshire East continue to strike
Bus drivers continued to strike today with industrial action planned to continue in the run up to Christmas following pay disputes.
Arriva drivers took part in the 24 hour strike with Cheshire and other parts of the North West including Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire affected.
GMB, the trade union which represents the drivers, announced plans for 11 more strike days in December. There are also plans for further ballots after negotiations with Arriva turned sour, with the union marking the pay offer ‘insulting’,
Eddie Parker, GMB organiser, said: “This below inflation offer is an insult to GMB’s Arriva members, to the people in the areas where Arriva operates and to the businesses and commuters who will be affected by further strike action.
“Management has shown utter contempt to workers who are fighting to stop their pay being eroded by the impact of inflation – which this week hit 4%.
“The company has made a cynical decision to put more profit before the needs of the communities they serve.
“GMB and Unite believe the joint pay claim is affordable given the high profitability of Arriva North West.
“To put that into context the highest paid director in Arriva North West has more money out into his pension each year than the average annual pay of a bus worker in the region.
“The unions will be balloting their members next week on this offer with a strong recommendation to reject.
“The current published strike days will go ahead as planned.”
Phil Stone, Regional Managing Director for Arriva North West: “Arriva tabled a further improved and final offer for our drivers at a meeting with UNITE and GMB.
“We have listened to the Union and responded positively by offering a one year pay deal that ensures the hourly rates of all our drivers remains highly competitive within the industry. The offer for Merseyside is 2.6% rising to 3% after 6 months.
This is now the fourth improved pay offer that Arriva has made since commencement of the strike action. It is a fair pay deal for our drivers, and one that importantly ensures the long-term sustainability of the business going forward.
“In the interests of our drivers and our customers, we have recommended that the union undertakes a confidential postal ballot for the membership facilitated by ACAS, the costs of which Arriva will cover. But the Union have declined this, and have confirmed they will be doing a consultative ballot at each garage next week.”
“The Union has planned 11 more days of disruption for our customers. We hope this generous pay offer will be accepted and bring an end to the strike action.”