Arriva Yorkshire bus strike to restart immediately as pay offer rejected

An all out bus strike affecting Arriva Yorkshire services is to resume immediately after union members rejected a new pay offer.

An initial walkout impacting Arriva Yorkshire depots in Castleford, Dewsbury, Heckmondwike, Selby and Wakefield originally started on June 6 but was put on hold from June 30 as members of Unite considered a new pay offer from the company.

However, the deal has been narrowly rejected - meaning strike action will begin again from 2am on Wednesday morning. There was a 53.7 per cent vote for rejecting the latest pay offer.

West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin said the short notice given for the resumption of strike action was "incredibly disappointing".

Strikes affecting Arriva Yorkshire services are to resume from Wednesday morning.

Ms Brabin said: "Like others, I found out about the resumption of the strike on social media just before 6pm on Tuesday evening. To inform passengers at this late hour is incredibly disappointing and leaves people unable to make alternative plans.

“I am particularly concerned about passengers arriving at a bus stop tomorrow only to find out they have no means of transport, other than walking or getting a taxi.

“Communities across West Yorkshire need an urgent resolution to this dispute. With the potential for strike action to continue indefinitely, it seems sensible to invite ACAS in to help broker an agreement between Arriva and Unite for the benefit of bus users.

“I share the frustrations of those who will find getting to school or work difficult in the coming days. My powers to intervene in this dispute remain limited, as unlike London, services here are controlled by private operators. However, the free bus service I introduced between Wakefield and Pinderfields hospital will continue ensuring people can keep vital hospital appointments.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members have rejected Arriva’s offer – it must come back with an improved one. As part of a global transport giant, it can afford to do so.

“Tensions have needlessly been raised by Arriva’s management meddling during the ballot. The company’s actions have severely backfired. It is entirely Arriva’s own fault that the strikes are back on.”

Unite say newly recruited bus drivers are paid only £9.78 an hour - just 28 pence above the minimum wage.

A spokesperson for Arriva UK Bus said: “For Unite to call this indefinite strike in Yorkshire with just hours’ notice is appalling. Customers who will be relying on buses to travel will be seriously inconvenienced with no warning provided. And for such damaging action to be taken when half of the drivers have not voted to support returning to strike action is shocking.

“We are deeply frustrated on behalf of all our customers and the communities we serve for the disruption they face.”

“Following extensive negotiations, we have already put forward a fair and generous offer which helps address the cost of living challenge, despite passenger numbers being lower than before the pandemic.”

“Unite should immediately call of the strike and we are calling on ACAS to mediate.”

“We intend to run the limited school service that we ran during the initial strike.”