Crunch pay talks are due to be held tomorrow (Thursday 18 July) in a bid to avert strike action by about 900 bus drivers in South Yorkshire, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 17 July).

Unite said that its members, employed by First South Yorkshire Limited, will hold two 24 hour strikes on Saturday 27 July and Saturday 3 August, starting at 02:00, if there is no settlement to the dispute.

Yesterday (Tuesday 16 July), the drivers rejected by a three-to-one majority a pay offer that was put forward by the profitable company.

Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “We are holding crunch talks with the management tomorrow to see if there is scope for a further improvement in the offer, after our members overwhelmingly rejected it in a consultative ballot.  

“If there is no breakthrough, our members will strike for 24 hours on successive Saturdays, 27 July and 3 August.

“We can only reiterate that the parent company First Group is highly profitable and made £65 million in profits from its UK bus division for the year ending 31 March 2019. This is a company awash with cash, which can well afford to make a decent pay offer.”

If the strikes go ahead, the services run by the company in Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham, as well as part of the Derbyshire Dales, will grind to a halt, according to the union.

The workers had voted by 69 per cent for strike action and by 79 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.


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

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey