North Wales bus chaos as Arriva Cymru drivers vote to walkout for five weeks – North Wales Live

Arriva Cymru bus drivers are set to strike for five weeks – bringing chaos to services in North Wales.

Bus services will face severe disruption after nearly 400 drivers voted overwhelmingly to strike in a pay dispute, Unite the union said today.

Drivers at depots, including Amlwch, Bangor, Hawarden (Chester), Llandudno, Rhyl and Wrexham, will strike from 6am on Sunday 14 November 2021 until 1am on Sunday 19 December.

This follows a 95 per cent vote in favour of strike action.

Unite said the offer was 1.77 per cent backdated to 1 January – well below inflation.

Arriva said they believed the pay offer put forward is “fair and highly competitive”.

Around 2,000 Arriva drivers across Liverpool, Manchester and the north west of England have also voted for industrial action.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is time that Arriva Cymru’s management woke up and smelled the coffee. The 95 per cent vote in favour of industrial action shows how determined our members are to fight for a better pay deal. And make no mistake, they will have the full backing of Unite during their five week strike .

“They were local heroes in the pandemic, so surely now is the time for that dedication and hard work to be rewarded with a substantial pay rise.”

Unite regional officer Jo Goodchild said: “Obviously, this is a huge mandate for industrial action – one of the biggest I have ever experienced. There is a window of opportunity for the management to sit down with Unite for a constructive dialogue over pay before strike action starts on 14 November – and we urge Arriva Cymru to rise to this challenge.

“The alternative is that a large part of the public transport network along the Welsh coast as far as Holyhead faces grinding to a halt in the run-up to Christmas.”

An Arriva UK Bus spokesperson said: “It is very regrettable to hear that Unite members in Arriva’s depots across North Wales and Chester have voted in favour of striking over rates of pay.

“While we understand concerns about recent increases to the cost of living, we believe the offer we put forward is fair and highly competitive.

“Arriva is very committed to continued dialogue and has already been involved in extensive discussions with our trade union partners. We had very much hoped to reach an agreement.

“Public transport remains under enormous pressure following the effects of the pandemic and it’s vital that we work together to build a recovery, while also providing continuity of services for local communities.”

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