Bus drivers to strike for 24 hours over pay

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Hundreds of bus drivers in West Yorkshire will strike for 24 hours over a pay dispute.

The walk-out by more than 850 Arriva Yorkshire bus drivers is planned for Monday, November 14 from 3am after members of the Unite union rejected a pay deal and voted for strike action.

Arriva runs services across the region including from Leeds to Wakefield, Pontefract, Castleford, Dewsbury, Batley and Morley.

The company said limited services will operate during the strike.

It comes after staff at Leeds bus firm First staged three 24-hour strikes in Leeds during the summer, which caused disruption to services across the city.

Phil Bown, regional officer at the Unite union, said: “Strike action is not a step our members take lightly, but after nearly 12 months of circular talks they have become increasingly angry about being strung along by Arriva bosses.

“Our members take great pride in the service they provide and given Arriva’s large profits believe it’s only right that they get a modest pay rise which reflects their hard work."

The latest failed pay talks between the union and Arriva were held on October 19.

Union members are also fighting for better conditions for bus drivers, and a reduction in time staff spend behind the wheel.

Nigel Featham, regional managing director for Arriva Yorkshire and North East, said: “First and foremost we want to wholeheartedly apologise to our customers who will be affected by this industrial action.

“We have been working tirelessly over the last year with Unite to bring pay talks to an amicable conclusion but despite our best efforts and multiple offers to increase pay and conditions we have received notification to strike.”