About 900 bus drivers in South Yorkshire have postponed their strike over pay on Saturday (29 June) as a mark of respect for veterans wishing to attend events on Armed Forces Day, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Monday 24 June).

However, Unite said that its members, employed by First South Yorkshire Limited, will still strike for 24 hours on Monday 1 July, after voting by 69 per cent for strike action and by 79 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.

Unite said talks are being held with the management on Wednesday (26 June) to resolve the dispute  which centres on an  ‘insulting’ offer of a one year pay freeze for the year starting May 2019.

Next Monday’s strike will mean that services run by the company in Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham, as well as part of the Derbyshire Dales will ‘grind to halt’, according to Unite.

Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “As a mark of respect for veterans and other members of the public wishing to attend events on Armed Forces Day on Saturday we have postponed the 24 hours of strike action.

“At a meeting at the weekend, our shop stewards recognised that a strike on Saturday would cause severe inconvenience to veterans wishing to attend events across South Yorkshire – our dispute is with First South Yorkshire and not with current and past members of the armed forces who have bravely served their country.

“I can confirm that the strike by our 900 bus drivers scheduled for Monday is still going ahead.

“We are holding talks with the management on Wednesday in a bid to resolve this dispute.

“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 cash-rich organisation, which can well afford to make a decent pay offer.”

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