Engineers and bus drivers working for First Bus in Norfolk and Suffolk have threatened to strike if management do not respond on pay.
Three months after a pay claim was lodged by the T&G union, management have finally agreed to talks. The decision comes after bus workers overwhelmingly voted in an indicative ballot that they would be willing to strike.
Les Shaw of the T&G told Socialist Worker that “the result of the consultative ballot was very encouraging. We are waiting to see what offer management come up with now.”
A bus driver in Norwich says this is the “third year running that we have had problems with pay proposals”. Drivers across Norfolk and Suffolk struck for a week last September and won a 3 percent pay rise.
Trade union activists from the US travelled to Scotland last week to picket First Group, the company which runs First Bus. They accused First Group of undermining union organisation at First Student, the US school bus company.
The chair of First Group promised that he would “stamp out anti-union behaviour” but an official spokesperson denied that First Group carried out anti-union behaviour.
Bus drivers working for Arriva North East have voted by two to one to accept a new pay offer.
Some 800 drivers have taken three days strike action as part of a campaign to win £8 an hour. They have now won an immediate rise to £7.50 an hour rising to £8 over 18 months.
Minibus drivers, currently paid £6 an hour, have won an 18 percent pay rise over two years.