Crunch talks in effort to avert Leeds bus strike

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Crunch talks are being held today in a bid to avert bus strikes which would cause disruption to the city’s transport network.

Travellers across the city are being warned there could be disruption on Monday after First Leeds staff announced they will go on strike.

Bus drivers and customer hosts at the Hunslet Park and Bramley depots will hold a day of strike action on Monday, June 13, in a dispute over pay.

The strike by Unite members is expected to affect people who would travel
on the 65 bus routes across Leeds.

First Leeds and Unite representative will meet with the conciliatory service ACAS today in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

First Leeds said in a statement that the company had been in discussions with Unite for several months over the pay review anniversary on May 1.

The company employs 1,028 bus drivers and hosts based at the two Leeds depots.


First and Unite have their say:

Statement from First Bus:

Paul Matthews, managing director for First Leeds said, “I’m very disappointed Unite are going ahead with strike action despite our planned meeting 
on Wednesday involving ACAS.We have made a very reasonable, above-inflation offer and I call on Unite to call off this unnecessary strike and join us in meaningful talks with ACAS to avoid causing such hardship for our customers.”

Statement from Unite:

Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “It’s deeply disappointing that for four weeks the company has refused to engage in talks and only now agreed to meet at ACAS.

“Our intention is not to disrupt the travel plans of the people of Leeds next Monday, but negotiate a deal which recognises the role our members play in keeping Leeds on the move.

“We will be entering Wednesday’s talks in a positive manner and trust the First Leeds will do the same.”