Arriva workers at Luton depot vote to strike - with bus services expected to be ‘severely impacted'

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
They are protesting a ‘pay cut dressed up as a rise’

Bus services could be ‘severely impacted’ as staff at Arriva’s Luton depot voted to strike over a pay dispute.

The bus company had put forward pay rises of between four per cent and six per cent to its drivers, admin staff, engineers, cleaners and shunters.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But Unite says that with the rate of inflation currently at 11.8 per cent, the ‘rise’ represents a real terms pay cut.

Arriva bus workers voted to strike over pay.Arriva bus workers voted to strike over pay.
Arriva bus workers voted to strike over pay.

A spokesperson for Arriva Southern Counties said: “We are deeply disappointed by this totally unjustified and damaging strike action.”

But Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said Arriva “must improve” the offer.

She said: “It is a particularly bad deal for drivers because it has strings attached that will actually drive down their wages even further.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I have been very clear that our members’ jobs, pay and conditions are Unite’s top priority. We will not let employers, such as Arriva and its owner Deutsche Bahn, who can afford to pay but refuse to do so, off the hook. Unless a better offer is put forward strikes will go ahead.”

Read More
Luton shopkeeper fined for selling illicit tobacco

Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge added: “Strikes will cause severe disruption across the region. This will be entirely Arriva’s fault for offering a pay cut disguised as a rise while our members’ are struggling with the cost of living crisis. Arriva must come back with an offer our members can accept.”

Staff at the Hemel Hempstead, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Ware and Stevenage depots have also voted to take strike action, with bus routes across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire set to be affected.

A statement from Arriva Southern Counties said: “Any strike action in this region will inevitably result in an increase in passenger fares, job losses and depot closures”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It continued: “We urge Unite to work with us to agree a way forward and consider the irreparable damage this action will inflict upon our employees, passengers and the local bus network.

“We are requesting that Arriva’s pay offer, which significantly exceeds awards being made in other industries, be put to their members in a ballot.”