Socialist Worker

Bus drivers’ walkouts can beat pay disparity

Issue No. 2576

An Arriva North West bus in Merseyside

An Arriva North West bus in Merseyside (Pic: Flickr/Alan Sansbury)

Some 2,000 bus workers at Arriva North West were set to walk out over pay on Thursday.

Drivers and engineers in the Unite union plan to hold picket lines at all the depots—in Birkenhead, Bolton, Bootle, Green Lane, Macclesfield, Runcorn, Speke, Southport, Winsford and Wythenshawe.

The 24 hour strike looks set to bring large parts of the bus service to a halt.

Workers are striking over pay differences between depots. Pay can vary up to £1.73 per hour—and Unite says that the new 2017-2018 pay offer raises the disparity to £2 an hour.

Workers plan to walk again out on Monday 23 and Monday 30 October.

Unite regional officer Neil Clarke said “Our members are fed up with pitiful pay offers and Arriva’s ‘pick and mix’ approach to wages where some depots get a pay rise and others don’t.”

The RMT union called off three days of bus strikes against Stagecoach in Devon last week in response to a new offer. Bus workers were due to walk out for 24 hours on Friday of last week, Tuesday of this week and 30 October.

Workers demanded a pay rise in line with the 3.9 percent Retail Price Index rate of inflation.

The dispute involves over 800 drivers, cleaners and engineers at Exeter, Torquay and Barnstaple garages.

RMT will put the new deal to its members.

Strikers could have had a big impact—and workers shouldn’t accept less than they fought for.

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