Around 650 bus drivers working for Arriva Durham County have voted to strike for a week from 6 January after rejecting a revised pay offer.
The drivers, members of the Unite union based at Darlington, Durham, Redcar, Stockton and Whitby, voted by 72% to 28% to reject the proposal, which was made following the suspension of strike action scheduled to start on 16 December. It included a 75p hourly increase over two years in four instalments.
Bob Bolam, Unite regional officer, said: “The core of the dispute is the anger the bus drivers feel because they believe they are the second-lowest paid drivers of all the Arriva bus companies across the UK.
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“The revised offer failed to bridge that pay gap and our members can’t endure this glaring pay inequality. The ball is now very much in the management’s court.”
Nigel Featham, head of Arriva buses in the region, said: “We regret Unite’s decision to call a strike in the new year. Arriva has done everything in its power to avoid this outcome, having made considerable concessions in pay talks.
“Industrial action will achieve nothing but misery for the travelling public. Our offer, the best made to our drivers in modern times, remains on the table.”