Arriva bus strikes: Mayor hopeful deal 'within sight' despite strikes continuing following fresh talks stalemate

The Mayor of West Yorkshire has revealed she is hopeful a deal is 'within sight' despite fresh talks between Arriva and Unite the Union reaching another stalemate.

By Alex Grant
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 4:30 pm

The walkout started on Monday, June 6 after Unite the Union took action over what they described as a 'pitiful' pay increase offer.

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The strikes have caused significant disruption, with no Arriva bus services running across the region until the industrial action ends.

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Arriva and Unite previously met to discuss terms last week but talks broke down following four hours of discussion. Picture: Scott Merrylees.

Arriva and Unite previously met to discuss terms last week but talks broke down following four hours of discussion.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, has spoken of her disappointment following the fresh break down in talks but is hopeful a deal could finally be within reach.

"Sadly todays talks between Unite and Arriva have ended without a deal. I’ve spoken to both sides again this evening in the strongest terms making the case that this must now come to a positive conclusion for the sake of the people of West Yorkshire," she said.

"I’m grateful to both parties that it now feels as if a deal is finally within sight. Negotiations are hard but I know there is a solution that will protect the interests of drivers and passengers."

Unite confirmed news of the break down in discussions on social media following 'several hours' of talks.

"UPDATE: Following several hours of talks between Unite the Union and Arriva Yorkshire, talks have ended without an acceptable offer that can be put to our members. #PayUpArriva." it read.

The bus provider and union have previously disagreed on the amount being offered after Arriva rejected claims that their original pay offer was just a 4.1 per cent increase. Claiming that they had instead offered figures of between a 7 and 12.5 per cent pay increase.

Drivers are looking for an hourly fee of approximately £13.50.

Arriva confirmed they are 'deeply disappointed' by the outcome but are committed to 'resolve this strike'.

"We are deeply disappointed that the strike hasn’t been called off following further talks with Unite. While we welcomed the discussions, an agreement still couldn’t be reached despite Arriva further structuring our generous offer to address feedback from the union," a spokesperson, for the company said.

"We continue to take all responsible steps to find a way to resolve this strike."

Members of Unite gathered outside Leeds station this morning to stand in solidarity with rail workers who are striking across the country.

Over 40,000 Network Rail staff across 13 train providers has walked out in the largest rail strike action in Britain for 33 years.