The Arriva bus drivers strike is continuing indefinitely, with no end in sight to the walkout which began last Wednesday (20th July 2022).
Bus drivers say they are fighting for “a fair wage” and are inviting people to support their picky lines at Canning Road and Eastbank Street in Southport.
Arriva has issued a new statement on the dispute, saying it has put forward “a very generous increase for bus drivers at 8.5%”.
Howard Farrall, North West & Wales Area Operating Director for Arriva UK Bus said: “We are very disappointed for all our customers affected by the continuing strike action, with still no date yet for services being resumed.
“We remain committed to getting our drivers back to work and buses back on the road as soon as possible. So, it is incredibly frustrating that our trade union partners, Unite and GMB, have today refused both to consider calling off the strike while we bring in ACAS – or to even meet with them.”
ACAS is a specialist independent body that supports employees and employers with resolving industrial relations disputes.
Howard Farrall said: “As we have stated repeatedly, we greatly value our people. They do a crucial job, keeping our communities and customers moving. They thoroughly deserve a pay rise, especially with the cost of living increasing. While trade union members are receiving ‘strike pay’ – we also recognise the importance of getting all of our colleagues back to work. Not only does the bus strike harm the very communities we serve, it is in nobody’s interest for this strike to persist a day longer.
“It’s why we’ve put on the table a very generous increase for bus drivers at 8.5% – which is higher than most workers in either the public or private sector are receiving in these difficult economic times. But any pay rises must be affordable, to protect jobs and ensure that bus networks are sustainable when Government funding support finishes in the autumn.
“We ask, again, for the union leadership to suspend the strike, so that we can serve our communities and work with us and ACAS to now bring this dispute to a swift resolution.”
An Arriva bus drivers spokesperson in Southport contacted Stand Up For Southport to say: “As you may or may not be aware Arriva drivers in Merseyside and the North West are on continuous strike action against their employer from 02:00 Wednesday 20th July.
“I would kindly ask you to support the drivers on the picket lines at Canning Road and Eastbank Street.
“The drivers will be more than willing to engage in conversation regarding the reasons why they have took to the picket line as a last resort to try to secure a fair deal from their employer.
“Arriva drivers fully understand that this will have a major impact on the communities lives we serve over the coming days and maybe weeks with getting to work, hospital appointments and days out especially during the school holidays and want this resolved as quick as we can.
“So don’t listen to the company propaganda that the drivers are greedy, they just want a fair wage, so if you see them show your support.”