About 650 bus drivers in the north east are due to take a week’s strike action from Sunday 16 December in a dispute over pay, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, announced today (Monday 3 December).

Unite said that the crux of the dispute was the belief that bus drivers working for Arriva Durham County Ltd were the second lowest paid drivers of all the Arriva bus companies across the UK.

Drivers at Darlington, Durham, Redcar, Stockton and Whitby will walk out at 00.01 on 16 December until 23.59 on Saturday 22 December, after voting by 95 per cent for strike action in pursuit of a £1 an hour pay rise for the year starting March 2018.

Lengthy talks were held on Friday (30 November) between Unite and the management - and a company response to those talks is expected later this week.

Unite regional officer Bob Bolam said: “At the centre of this dispute is an understanding that the Arriva drivers in County Durham are the second lowest paid of all the bus drivers in the Arriva ‘family’ across the UK.

“Pay talks were held with the company on Friday and we are expecting a management response to those negotiations later this week. We also discussed speeding up the increments so that the drivers reach the top of their pay band more quickly.

“The last thing our members want is to take such industrial action in the run-up to Christmas as it will cause massive inconvenience to the travelling public. If the strike goes ahead, we don’t believe Arriva will be able to run more than a few ‘token’ bus services.

“Our members have voted overwhelmingly for pay justice and are not prepared to continue to badly lag behind other Arriva drivers in the country doing similar jobs.

“Unite is ready 24/7 for constructive talks to reach a fair settlement for our members – our door is always open for such negotiations.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065

Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.