An Arriva bus operates on Queens Road in Southport, where pop-up cycle lanes have been installed Photo by Andrew Brown Media

The Arriva bus strike in Southport and across the North West is set to CONTINUE after workers voted overwhelmingly against the latest pay offer. 

In the latest vote, which took place yesterday and today, 9% of members vote against the latest pay offer from Arriva, understood to be in the region of 9.6%. It means the continuous strikes will continue into a 29th day tomorrow.

The strike action has been taking place since 20th July and shows no sign of ending any time soon. 

An Arriva spokesperson said: “We are incredibly disappointed that Unite and GMB members have voted not to accept our latest pay offer, inflicting yet further disruption and misery on our customers in the North West.

“Following the rejection of our latest pay offer today we agreed to meet the Union’s pay demand in an attempt to end this strike action.  The Unions responded by significantly increasing their pay demand for the second time in this process. This brings into question their intentions.

“The Unions are fully aware of the financial implications we face and the implications for our customers and local bus networks across the North West.

“We will continue to do all we can to resolve this dispute as quickly as possible. We understand the detrimental impact this situation is having on our customers, our communities, our local economy – we urge the unions to reconsider their position, act in good faith and show a genuine willingness to resolve this dispute for the benefit of their members and our customers.”

On Friday, news of a potential breakthrough came as Arriva said it had tabled an improved offer, which the Unite and GMB unions would take back to its members. Those members have been voting on the new pay proposal over the past two days.

But a count of the votes was carried out this afternoon and the offer was roundly rejected. Of those who voted, 79% backed rejecting the offer and continuing the strike. The ballot results show there was an 84% turnout across the Unite and GMB unions.

George Patterson, GMB regional organiser, said: “Working people are facing the worst cost of living crisis for a generation. These drivers are fighting for a fair pay rise to help them through it. We need something better from Arriva. Bus drivers need to know that they’ll be able to cover their bills.

“We won’t stop fighting for our members to get the decent pay they deserve.”

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.”

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