Second 24 hour strike takes place at First Leeds

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A second 24 hour strike took place at First Leeds on Monday, June 20.

Around 1,000 drivers and customer hosts at First’s Bramley and Hunslet Park depots staged a 24-hour walkout on Monday, June 13 in a dispute with the company over pay, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported

Talks involving conciliation service Acas were held on Thursday, June 16, but the attempt to avert a second strike proved unsuccessful.

First Leeds Managing Director Paul Matthews, speaking ahead of Monday’s strike, said: “This is very disappointing news that will create massive inconvenience for our customers as well as hardship for our staff.

“We’ve again presented several ways that the union’s demand could be met to try to end this dispute.

“Our offers continue to be well above inflation, as the pay deals have been each year for the last four years.

“I remain determined to bring this dispute to an end with a very fair and reasonable pay offer for our hard working drivers but not one that will damage the future of the business and bring fare rises for our customers.”

Unite is seeking an immediate pay rise of 36p per hour for its members, while First is offering a staggered increase of 16p per hour now and a further 20p per hour from January next year.

First has imposed a ban on voluntary overtime for workers taking part in the strike, which began at 0200hrs on June 20. It said it would have been unreasonable to allow staff involved in the strike to recover lost earnings through overtime shifts.

Unite accused First of playing ‘hard ball.’ The union claimed it was presented with a ‘pitiful’ from First at Thursday’s talks.