Journeys for people in Whitby and Scarborough affected after Arriva drivers walk out over pay dispute

Arriva drivers have gone on strike over a pay row
Arriva drivers have gone on strike over a pay row

A number of people have been affected after Arriva bus drivers walked out for a week in a dispute over pay yesterday.

The drivers walked walked out at 00.01 on Sunday (6 January) until 23.59 on Saturday 12 January.

Strike action was decided after talks between Unite and and the Arriva Durham County Ltd management broke down last week.

Arriva say that they will be operating as many services as possible between Monday and Friday despite 650 drivers taking action.

The service is currently running a skeleton service from Whitby, with no buses running between Whitby and Scarborough on the X93 service.

There are limited services between Whitby and Middlesbrough also, as well as a limited run through local villages.

Unite union strongly refuted claims made on Friday by Arriva Durham County Ltd about the week-long bus strike.

Unite said that the claims made by Nigel Featham, regional managing director of Arriva Buses were ‘a deliberate ploy to muddy the waters’.

Unite regional officer Bob Bolam said: “We strongly refute Nigel Featham’s assertion that the pay offer on the table would make our members ‘the very best paid drivers in the North East’.

“This is because the other companies operating bus services across the region have a range of different pay rates, and terms and conditions, so it is invidious to make such direct comparisons with our members’ pay.

“Arriva is a highly profitable operation. Arriva Durham County’s real agenda is a helter-skelter race to the bottom in terms of pay and employment conditions, when a decent employer would wish to better reward its hardworking employees. The company is deliberately muddying the waters.

“We appreciate that the public will be greatly inconvenienced by the strike, which we worked tirelessly to avoid, but at talks yesterday (Thursday 3 January) the management put ‘no new money on the table’ and also threatened to slash services, if Unite carried on with the strike.

“The UK has some of the strictest rules governing industrial action in western Europe and Unite held a legitimate ballot for strike action which our members overwhelmingly voted for. Industrial democracy should be the bedrock of our employment practices.

“The Arriva management has had plenty of time to settle this dispute and their energies would be better spent in resolving it, rather than promoting anti-union diatribes, which do not help bus travellers in the North East.”

Unite also accused the bosses of "going around and around in circles", after the drivers had rejected a revised pay offer just before Christmas.

The bus drivers rejected the revised package before Christmas which included 75p on the hourly rate over two years in four instalments. Drivers are seeking an increase £1 per hour on the rates for the year starting March 2018.