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Strikes: Bus passengers to face 'significant disruption'

The Oxford Bus Company is warning passengers that they will face "significant disruption" during two days of planned strikes.

The Company said it had been unable to reach a settlement with the Unite union in a dispute over drivers' pay for the Christmas 2016 period.

Union members will strike on Thursday 2nd March and Monday 6th March.

The bus company is advising its passengers to make alternative travel arrangements.

We're sorry and concerned to hear that Unite, the union representing around 70% of our people, is intending to take strike action on the 2nd and 6th of March 2017. We understand this is in relation to Christmas and New Year working arrangements from last year.

This is disappointing as we've made a number of offers to Unite to settle the dispute but these have been rejected without consulting their members. Also we're disappointed that Unite has chosen not to follow the agreed dispute resolution procedure before triggering the ballot.

We're very keen to resolve the dispute, and our door is open for talks, but in the meantime we're putting plans in place to make sure we can offer customers the best service possible if strikes go ahead. Special contingency timetables are available for our customers on our website, and will shortly be available in print form."

– Phil Southall, Managing Director of Oxford Bus Company

ASLEF train drivers reject Southern deal - Rail boss says: 'Naturally we're saddened'

More industrial action to come in the dispute on Southern trains

The head of Govia Thameslink Railway - Southern's parent company, has given his reaction to the decision of ASLEF union members to reject a deal in the ongoing dispute about driver-only trains.

“Naturally we’re saddened and hugely disappointed, as will be our passengers, with today’s decision by drivers, particularly as the agreement carried the full support and recommendation of the ASLEF leadership. We now need to understand the issues which led to this outcome and we’ll be seeking to meet with the union as soon as possible to see how we can agree a way forward.”

– Nick Brown, Chief Operating Officer of Govia Thameslink Railway, Southern’s parent company

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BA cabin crews to take more strike action

Cabin crew to go on strike again Credit: ITV

British Airways cabin crews are to stage a fresh wave of four strikes from February 22 in a dispute over pay, Unite union has announced.

Unite members are already planning a four-day walkout from February 17 and have held several previous stoppages in January and at the start of this month.

Members of the so-called mixed fleet have taken 11 days of action so far this year in protest at "poverty" pay. Unite said its members at the airline were "piling on the pressure" by striking repeatedly.

AWE workers strike in pension row

Credit: ITV News Meridian

Workers at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE plc) in Berkshire have started a 48-hour strike this morning.

Six hundred employees, members of Unite, have walked out of the company's Aldermaston and Burghfield sites in a dispute over pensions.

It's their second 48-hour strike this month.

More to follow.

Credit: ITV News Meridian

Ambulance staff have low morale over staff shortages

Credit: ITV News Meridian

Staff shortages at South East Coast Ambulance are affecting performance as well as staff morale, according to a new report.

That's according to a report due to be presented at a board meeting later.

SECAMB - which had been placed in special measures last September - says it is trying to recruit, even looking as far afield as Australia to try to fill vacancies.

It says there's a national shortfall in paramedics, and its strategy will address this.

Charity is helping women to get 'smart' for work

When it comes to job interviews, first impressions count. That's why one charity is helping women to get back into work by giving them a new outfit, help and support.

Smart Works - which has a base in Reading in Berkshire - helps those who are unemployed and who may have faced various challenges.

The charity is now looking to expand to help even more women, as Lauren Hall reports.

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More people in region prefer to work from home

More of us are choosing to work from home. According to the latest figures almost 700,000 people in the South / South East now take the opportunity to take a short walk from the bedroom to the office. That's about 16 per cent of the working population.

This week is Work from Home Week, and our bosses are being encouraged to think about the benefits of offering staff a better work life balance. Amy Lea reports.

More than half of parents rely on school breakfast clubs

One in five working parents admit they never sit down and have breakfast with their children. That's just one of the findings in a survey of more than 2,000 people into the effects of our increasingly pressurised lifestyles.

Many schools are finding increased demand for their breakfast clubs where mums and dads can drop their children off before school and still be confident they're getting a healthy start to the day.

Wesley Smith reports:

  • 60% said that their child's school breakfast club was very important for their day-to-day life
  • Over half (58%) said that the breakfast clubs enabled their children to have breakfast in the morning without being rushed
  • Over a third (33%) stated that they or their partner would have to give up work if it were not for the school breakfast club
  • Almost a third (28%) said that the breakfast clubs saved them on average between £10 - £25 per week

Our reporter, Wesley Smith, has interviewed: Theresa Pooley, Mother Minara Begum, Mother Simone Roberts-Lawlor, Mother Oli Burton, Organiser

We'll call off cleaners' strike - if GWR ends two tier workforce, says rail union

Credit: ITV News Meridian

The RMT rail union has announced it will suspend strike action by cleaners on Great Western Railway (GWR) if the workers' contracts are improved.

The pending strike action is over claims of serious bullying, discrimination and poverty working conditions on GWR's cleaning contract operated by Servest UK.

The union is calling for agency workers to be made members of GWR staff to end its two tier workforce. It says GWR and Servest UK must commit to giving the workers a fair contract at today's meeting.

The union says a key demand is for basic sick pay in line with GWR staff. It claims the current situation has forced many of the cleaners into debt with two thirds owing money to payday loan companies in the past year as a result of falling sick.

The strike is due to take place between 5.59am on Thursday 19th January and 05.58am on Saturday 21st January.

GWR has a golden opportunity today to end this dispute and stop hiding behind its sub-contractor and avoiding proper responsibilities to the workers who clean their trains.

If today’s meeting between GWR and Servest results in GWR committing to making the necessary changes to its cleaning contract, for a fair settlement for our cleaner members, then we will call off our strike.

If no commitment is forthcoming then we will be left without a choice but to go ahead with the action. Recent strike action by RMT Cleaner members on GWR was rock solid and we expect the same this week.

RMT’s cleaner members on GWR will not stand by while they are mercilessly exploited by privateers, while rail companies fill their coffers as fares soar through the roof.”

– Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary
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