About 900 bus drivers in South Yorkshire will hold two 24 hour strikes after pay talks broke down today (Thursday 18 July), Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said.

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.

Earlier this week, 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 held talks with the management today to see if there was scope for a decent improvement in the offer, after our members overwhelmingly rejected it in a consultative ballot.  

“Unfortunately, today the company came up with a pitiful new offer that could be measured in a few pence an hour following on from the one our members rejected this week.

“This latest offer, verging on the insulting, went no way to meet our members’ aspirations as household bills continue to soar – as a result, the drivers will strike for 24 hours on successive Saturdays, 27 July and 3 August.

“However, Unite’s door is always open for a constructive dialogue to settle this dispute which will cause massive inconvenience for weekend bus travellers when the strikes occur.

“We can only reinforce the message 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.”

Unite has said that the services run by the company in Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham, as well as part of the Derbyshire Dales, will grind to a halt due to the strikes.

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
Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

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