North West Arriva bus drivers begin strike over pay dispute

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Arriva has "expressed disappointment" as unions begin strike action from Wednesday 20 July. Credit: PA Images

Bus passengers are being warned to expect disruption as Arriva bus workers take strike action over pay.

The majority of the company's buses will not be running as Unite and GMB unions begin striking for an indefinite period, starting 20 July.

More than 1,800 Arriva workers will not go to work in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire after 96% of union members voted to take action.

Staff had been in negotiations with the company over pay for the past three months, but the GMB union says Arriva’s offer had "not met inflation rates".

GMB's Regional Organiser, Robbie Marnell, said "no worker should be struggling to cover their bills. But in the face of a cost of living crisis, Arriva needs to get real on its pay offers.

"Hopefully the company will listen and get back around the table with a fair offer."

Arriva busses operate in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria. Credit: PA Images

Arriva offered their workers a pay rise of 8.5%. They want union members to vote on their latest pay offer.

Arriva UK's North West & Wales Area Operating Director, Howard Farrall, said, "strike action is counter-productive, harms the communities and customers we serve, and damages bus travel at a time when we should all be focused on building recovery from the pandemic.

"We’re calling on Unite and GMB to abandon their plans for this damaging strike and to ballot their members on the new offer."

Arriva customers with pre-paid tickets travelling in Cheshire will be able to use them on buses operated by D&G Buses.

Arriva's services running out of the Chester depot and into Chester from Wrexham and Rhyl are unaffected and will continue to operate.

Bus services provided by other operators are expected to be operating as normal.