THE Arriva bus strike shows no sign of ending as it enters its third week across Merseyside.
In an update provided by Arriva North West on Monday, August 1, they said a “generous pay rise” had been rejected by union reps from Unite and GMB. The exact figure was not given, but it is believed that the two unions have previously dismissed an 8.5% pay rise offer.
Strike action began on Wednesday, July 20 at 2am after 1,800 workers agreed to ‘walk out’ over a pay dispute. During each day of the industrial action there has been no Arriva bus service operating anywhere within Merseyside.
The strike is indefinite, meaning it will carry on until all parties reach an agreement on a pay rise for workers. The depots involved in the dispute include Bootle, Southport, Liverpool, Birkenhead, Bolton, Macclesfield, Manchester, Runcorn, Speke, St Helens and Winsford.
A spokesperson for Arriva North West said: “We are extremely disappointed that despite further negotiations with Unite and GMB and a very generous improved offer, the Unions have once again walked away without even agreeing to put our offer to their members. This means we continue to face ongoing strike action across the North West region, causing continued misery for passengers.
“We have worked tirelessly to reach an agreement on a way forward, today making an offer that would have seen our drivers being the highest paid in the region, with no changes to current employee benefits and a lump sum of backdated pay to April 1, 2022.
“Our customers will share our frustration at the Unions’ unreasonable stance. We are seeking to engage ACAS to help bring a resolution to this situation and we urge Unite and GMB to immediately reconsider their position, call an end to strike action and give their members the opportunity to ballot on our generous pay rise.”
Unite regional officer Dave Roberts said: “This dispute is all about greed not need. Arriva could make its workers a decent offer but it chose not to. Even now strikes can be avoided if Arriva made an offer which meets members’ expectations.”