The all-out strike by around 1,800 bus drivers and workers at Arriva North West will be ‘continuing into next week’, the company has confirmed.
The continued industrial action over a pay dispute means there are currently no Arriva bus services operating within Merseyside, with the exception of the Liverpool Clatterbridge Hospital shuttle service.
The strike, which began in the early hours Wednesday morning, is being supported by the Unite and GMB trade unions, which say their members have been offered a pay deal which is inadequate given spiralling prices and the cost of living crisis.
Insufficient pay offer
Speaking outside the Arriva bus depot in Speke, regional organiser for GMB Robbie Marnell told LiverpoolWorld: "We’ve been in talks with the company now since the back end of March. Several offers have come across the table but they don't meet the aspirations of the members of GMB and Unite.
“At the end of the day, the company only started to take things seriously when we balloted for the industrial action to take place. They have improved the offer but they’re still subsequently quite short of the aspirations that was set out from day one."
Spiralling cost of living
Mr Marnell added: "What we’ve asked for all along is an initial request of £15 an hour or at least a minimum of RPI. As I say, the company have come back with what they’re saying is 8.5% but in theory that’s not even true; it’s a split award where basically they’re offering 5% in April with an additional 3.5% later on in the year.
“All our members have asked for is a good pay award to help them cope with this spiralling cost of living."
What Arriva say about bus strike
The bus operator insists it remains comitted to getting the drivers back to work but confirmed in a statement to LiverpoolWorld that they do not expect the continuous strike to end in the next few days.
"We are disappointed for all our customers to confirm that the strike will be continuing into next week, with no date yet for services being resumed,” Arriva said.
“We remain committed to getting our drivers back to work and buses back on the road as soon as possible. We once again ask the union to call off the action and let our people vote on the latest 8.5% pay offer."
Stagecoach strike set precedent
Unite members employed by Stagecoach in Merseyside have ended their industrial dispute after agreeing a substantial pay increase.
The 370 strong workforce, based at Stagecoach's Gilmoss depot, had already taken a day's strike action on Monday July 4, all following strike action has now been cancelled.
Unite say the Stagecoach strikes were only called off after a pay increase of over 11% was agreed.