Fears 'so many people will be affected' by possible South Yorkshire bus drivers' strike

Star readers have backed bus drivers who are set to walk out after voting ‘overwhelmingly’ for strike action.

Thursday, 6th June 2019, 1:23 pm
First buses.

Employees at First South Yorkshire were balloted by the union Unite – which rejected a planned pay freeze – and the results came back on Wednesday afternoon.

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Union regional officer Phil Bown said members voted ‘overwhelmingly’ for action.

But the union has yet to confirm exactly what form the industrial action will take or when it will happen.

A number of Star readers have backed any planned industrial action, including a strike.  

James Hemmings said: “Considering they're always advertising for bus drivers they should try paying them a decent wage.

“They're responsible for the safety of the passengers as well as other road users.

“Good luck to the drivers.”

James Allen added: “They have a lot of responsibility, have to work odd hours, have to work weekends.

“They deserve a decent wage they can live on. It's not like they earn a fortune already.”

Julie Tattersall was of the opinion that “they have their reasons but so many people will be affected. It needs sorting and quickly.”  

Union regional officer Phil Bown said: “If First Group wants to prevent the industrial action, which will unfortunately inevitably lead to severe disruption for members of the public, then it needs to make a reasonable pay offer and enter into negotiations.” Unite previously said that if members voted in favour, a strike could begin in mid-June.

A spokeswoman for First South Yorkshire said only just over 40 per cent of its drivers had voted for industrial action. Garry Birmingham, managing director of First South Yorkshire, said the pay freeze, which would affect all staff, including managers, was being proposed after the company had made ‘another significant operating loss’.