Arriva and First strikes in Manchester

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Strikes took place at Arriva North West and First Manchester on Monday, October 30, after separate disputes over pay, the Manchester Evening News reported.

The strikes meant that no Arriva buses ran for the whole day, while 70 drivers and Unite members at First’s Rusholme depot also walked out, claiming there is a £5,000 discrepancy in pay between staff at that depot and colleagues at Queens Road depot. However, First expected only minor changes to its service, with a revised timetable for the 41 and 42 bus services.

Phil Stone, Managing Director for Arriva North West, said: “It is extremely disappointing that, having tabled a third improved pay offer for our drivers in a meeting with our union colleagues today, Unite and GMB remain intent on continuing to cause unnecessary disruption and inconvenience to our customers.

“While our focus has been to reach an agreement, theirs is to come up with yet more strike dates.”

Adrian Worsfold, Operations Director at First Manchester, said: “We’re pleased to confirm that we will be operating all of our main services out of the Rusholme depot. We’d advise customers of the 41 and 42 services to allow more time for travel and we apologise for any disruption that is caused due to these short-term changes.”

On the topic of First Manchester, Unite Regional Officer, Neil Clarke, said: “For four years First Manchester has repeated that pay will be harmonised, but it has always been jam tomorrow – and now our members are fed up with dry bread and the bosses’ stale words.”

Both Arriva and First drivers are planning further strike action in November, as are staff at Northern Trains.

Arriva and First services could be affected by further strike action on November 6, 13, 20, 27 and 30, while on November 8, Arriva and Northern trains are expected to be disrupted.