Bus services in Leeds are set to be affected by strike action by bus drivers on Monday, June 13.
Bus drivers and hosts in the Unite Union rejected the latest 3% offer from First Bus management. The strike, which affects more than 1,000 employees in First Leeds, means up to three quarters of services in the city will be cancelled.
Some First Leeds services – including the numbers 4 and 16 from Pudsey to Leeds, as well as number 42 from Farnley and 72, which calls at Bramley – will run hourly services – no exact timings have been released. Other services are unlikely to run.
More details of services running can be found here.
Services operated from First’s other depots in West Yorkshire will operate as normal (including services X6, 508, 611 and 670).
Train services in West Yorkshire will be running as normal, as will services operated in West Leeds by other bus companies, such as the 711 and 760 .
— Transdev Keighley (@keighleybus) June 12, 2016
Travellers are being urged to leave extra time for their journeys.
Unite claims the bus workers operating out of the Bramley and Hunslet Park depots in Leeds are among the lowest paid in First Bus’s Yorkshire operations with colleagues in Halifax earning up to £2 an hour more.
They say First made £11 million profit from its buses last year and at the same time as First Bus cuts to the use of ‘bendy’ buses in Leeds recently made 45 workers redundant, saving a further £1 million.
Unite regional officer Phil Bown said:
“Strike action is very much the last resort, but faced with management’s refusal to improve on its pitiful pay offer and negotiate meaningfully at Acas, our members feel forced into taking this action.
“All our members are looking for is fair treatment and recognition for their hard work. We would urge First Bus management to drop its hard line attitude which risks causing disruption for the travelling public and enter into meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute.”
Paul Matthews, managing director of First Leerds, said he was disappointed by the union’s decision. He said:
“The decision means Unite will continue with their strike action on Monday despite less than half of our drivers voting for industrial action. The strike will cause massive disruption to tens of thousands of people across Leeds, including workers and those in education taking exams.
“We remain absolutely committed to resolving this dispute. We will do all we can to avoid further industrial action while ensuring our hard-working drivers benefit from the aboce inflation, yet affordable, pay increase.”