Transport

Arriva Bus staff industrial action underway

By Mary Wells

Strike action by more than 2000 Arriva North West bus drivers and engineering staff means that no planned Arriva bus services will be operating within Merseyside today.

A disagreement over pay offers is the cause. “Fair,” says Arriva management. “Pitiful,” say the unions.

Members of the Unite and GMB unions are involved in the 24-hour strike which began at 03:30 BST and will continue until Friday.

It is the first of three planned days of action, with further strikes scheduled for Arriva and Stagecoach on 23 and 30 October.

Negotiations broke down last week after the company’s latest pay increase offer of 31 pence per hour was rejected by a joint union ballot.

The GMB said this was a “real terms pay cut” after inflation hit 3%.

Unite said it wanted an “equitable pay award” across all depots and for Arriva to tackle wage inequalities of up to £1.73 an hour between bases.

On its website Arriva North West states it wants to “wholeheartedly apologise to our customers who will be affected by this industrial action,” and adds: “We are pleased to announce that customers with Arriva pre-paid tickets (i.e. Weekly, Annual, Student etc. excluding SOLO) travelling in Merseyside will be able to use them on the Merseyrail network on strike days.”