‘We just want fair pay’ - Arriva bus strikes set to continue across Merseyside

Arriva are expected to issue an update in the coming days after the latest round of talks over the pay dispute collapsed.

Over 1,800 Arriva workers across the North West are continuing to strike for a fourth week, with bus services in Merseyside brought to a standstill.

Arriva Northwest, RMT and Stagecoach have all participated in walk-outs recently as the fight for better pay intensifies as the UK faces its biggest cost of living crisis.

GMB and Unite Union members working at Arriva North West have been on strike since July 20, and do not plan to return to work until all parties agree on pay rises for workers.

Despite meetings between the company and unions on August 1 and August 8, an agreement is yet to be reached, with Arriva not budging from their initial pay increase offer of 8.5%.

Last month, the UK’s rate of inflation was recorded at 9.4% - the highest figure in 40 years. Arriva workers argue that the current offer would amount to a pay cut, in real terms.

Union members strike at Arriva’s Green Lane depot. Image: LTV

What the drivers say

The drivers and engineers have said that they feel sorry for passengers affected by the strike but feel it’s their only option to get a ‘fare’ pay offer.

One driver told BBC News that on his current salary ‘it was just about getting to the end of each week and surviving, not living’.

Asked if he was concerned about the indefinite strike continuing for multiple weeks, he said: “There is hardship money there for people who need it. And I am aware that it is being used.”

Another driver, on the picket line at Bootle, said: “Everyone is in the same boat. We just want fair pay, so we can live.”

What Arriva say

Arriva expressed their discontent surrounding the unions after Friday’s talks collapsed, saying:  “On our side, we are acting in good faith and doing all we can to find a resolution. We urge Unite and GMB to do the same, reconsider their position, call an end to inappropriate strike action and give their members the opportunity to ballot on our latest offers.”

Although no further statements have been issued, Arriva North West told LiverpoolWorld that an update will be released in the coming days.

Are any Arriva services running in Merseyside?

Currently, Arriva’s only bus running is the Liverpool Clatterbridge shuttle service.

The unions have a mandate to take industrial action for at least 12 weeks.