Over 650 Arriva Yorkshire bus drivers are on indefinite strike for pay. The strike has cancelled buses across many areas of Yorkshire, and workers picket at all 6 depots.
The Dewsbury picket line on Thursday of last week had a real community atmosphere with plenty of food and drink to go around. Workers are adapting to being on strike, talking about how great it is that they have more free time to spend with family.
The Unite union members have voted for 12 weeks of indefinite strikes across the region and they’re ready to fight to the end.
Arriva Yorkshire workers are striking against bosses’ pitiful pay offer of a meagre 4.1 percent increase—a real-terms pay cut as inflation stands at 11.1 percent.
The strike has pushed Arriva Yorkshire bosses to up their offer to between 7 and 12.5 percent. But most workers would only get 7 percent. The mood on the picket line is clear, this offer is still nowhere near good enough.
Currently, Arriva Yorkshire trainee drivers start on £9.79 an hour. After 3 years in the role, this increases to £12.15, the rate many of the 650 strikers are on.
There has been large amounts of support for the strike. On Thursday in Dewsbury, barely 5 minutes went past without somebody honking in support as they drove past, often several in quick succession.
There was more tangible support too including visits by Aslef and NEU union members. Throughout the week people have brought down food for the Arriva Yorkshire strikers. On Thursday this included a delivery from a local Indian restaurant.
The widespread support for the strike shows that people are being hit by the cost of living crisis but inspired by workers fighting back.
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