Five-week bus strike on Arriva Cymru services to begin this weekend

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A five-week strike by Arriva Cymru is due to begin this weekend.

Arriva Cymru bus drivers will begin the strike on Sunday November 14, after last talks broke down on Friday evening (November 12).

Arriva Cymru (Bus Wales) expressed disappointment and confirmed the five-week strike will stop all but a handful of services in North Wales and Chester.

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NorthWalesLive reports that Arriva Midlands 2, 2A and 2C services to Wrexham and Arriva North West 84 and X30 services to Chester are the only routes that will continue to operate.

Unite said they could not agree to a deal where “Welsh drivers are worth less than their North West colleagues”.

The strike begins at 6 a.m. on Sunday.

A spokesman for Arriva Buses Wales said: “We are extremely disappointed that despite extensive discussions and a number of improved offers which would have increased our driver’s salary to £11.59 per hour back paid until January 2021 and a further increase to £12.00 per hour in 2022, our customers are still facing a strike this Sunday with no Arriva Buses Wales service running if this continues.

“We worked tirelessly to avoid this strike, which is why we kept coming up with new offers, while the unions refused to negotiate.

“Both parties have now agreed to mediation through Acas and while this is a welcome step, we urge Unite to immediately call off the strike this Sunday to give mediation a fighting chance. moving forward without disrupting the customers and communities we serve.

“Arriva prides itself on being a great employer, which is why our drivers have received continuous year-over-year salary increases since 2008. It’s also why we pay higher salaries than any other bus company in Wales and why we remain committed to finding a way forward. »

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Unite regional officer Jo Goodchild said: “Final talks to avert a strike failed this afternoon as Arriva failed to make an improved offer.

“The company’s response left our members with no choice but to move forward on Sunday morning with a planned five-week strike.

“This decision was not taken lightly.

“Arriva cannot expect our members to accept that Welsh drivers are worth less than their North West colleagues. Unite remains open to meaningful further discussions to resolve this dispute.”

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