Arriva bus strike to go ahead

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Hundreds of drivers have voted to strike over claims that those working for Arriva Durham County Ltd receive the second lowest wages in Arriva’s nationwide bus operation. In response, Arriva released a statement asserting that the claims were ‘unsubstantiated.’

The week-long strike beginning Sunday 16 December is set to go ahead after Arriva and trade union Unite were unable to make an agreement over a pay dispute. The strike was still expected to go ahead as CBW went to press.

Unite requested a £1 per hour wage rise alongside a reduction in the time taken for new starters to reach the top level of driver pay, a limitation on driving times and a restoration of ‘clock to clock’ payments, which would see all drivers paid while on meal breaks, instead of just those employed before September 2013.

Arriva rejected this, noting that it was ‘unreasonable’ and would result in the equivalent of a 21% payrise. Arriva said in then tabled a pay increase of ‘over 7.5%,’ which was rejected by Unite.

Nigel Featham, Arriva Managing Director of Arriva Yorkshire and North East, said: “We urge our drivers to re-consider this extreme action that hurts our passengers, our employees and, ultimately, our ability to make pay increases.”

In response, Bob Bolam, Union Regional Organiser said: “We appreciate that such action will cause massive disruption to the travelling public in the North-East in the run-up to Christmas, so Unite’s door is open for constructive talks 24/7.”