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Arriva bus driver strikes in Greater Manchester and North West begin today over pay dispute

Members of the Unite and GMB unions are striking for an "indefinite period" of time.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 20th July 2022

Arriva bus drivers in Greater Manchester and across the North West are to begin strike action today over pay disputes.

Bus passengers throughout the region are being warned to expect disruption as the majority of the company’s buses will not be running starting from today (20 July), when members of the Unite and GMB unions begin striking for an “indefinite period” of time.

After staff were said to have been in negotiations with the company over pay for the past three months, 96% of union members voted for strike action, and from today, more than 1,800 Arriva workers in Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Merseyside will not go to work.

Despite the three-month negotiations, and Arriva having already offered workers a pay rise of 8.5%, GMB union says this offer had “not met inflation rates”.

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Arriva now wants union members to vote on this latest pay offer.

Members of the Unite and GMB unions are striking for an “indefinite period” of time / Credit: Arriva UK

“No worker should be struggling to cover their bills, but in the face of a cost of living crisis, Arriva needs to get real on its pay offers,” said Robbie Marnell, Regional Organiser at GMB Union.

“Hopefully the company will listen and get back around the table with a fair offer.”

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Howard Farrall – Operating Director at Arriva UK’s North West & Wales Area – said strike action is “counter-productive” in response, and claims it “harms the communities and customers we serve, and damages bus travel at a time when we should all be focused on building recovery from the pandemic.”

Read more: Inflation hits new 40-year UK high of 9.4% amid cost of living crisis

He called on Unite and GMB to abandon plans for “this damaging strike” and to “ballot their members on the new offer.”

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Arriva customers with pre-paid tickets travelling in Cheshire will be able to use them on buses operated by D&G Buses, and services running out of the Chester depot, and into Chester from Wrexham and Rhyl, are unaffected and will continue to operate.

Bus services by other operators are also expected to be running as normal in Greater Manchester.

Featured Image – Wikimedia Commons