A total of 900 bus drivers in South Yorkshire are holding two days of strike action after rejecting the ‘insulting’ offer of a one year pay freeze, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 13 June).

The workers, employed by First South Yorkshire Limited, will strike for 24 hours on Saturday 29 June and Monday 1 July, after voting by 69 per cent for strike action and by 79 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.

The 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: “Our members have voted overwhelmingly to strike as they are not going to put up with the insulting offer of a one year pay freeze for the year starting May 2019, especially as the parent company First Group is highly profitable.

“First South Yorkshire is playing fast-and-loose with its financial figures – an accountancy sleight of hand. However, the key fact is that First Group made £65 million in profits from its UK bus division for the year ending 31 March 2019. This is a cash-rich organisation.

“Stagecoach, which operates similar services in the Sheffield area, is profitable and has offered its staff 4.7 per cent over 18 months. Why can’t First South Yorkshire make a similar offer?

“If First Group is serious about preventing industrial action, which will unfortunately lead to severe disruption for the travelling public, it urgently needs to hold constructive pay talks.”

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.