Bus strike to go ahead across Essex this Monday (October 12)

MEMBERS of the Unite trade union working for First Bus across Essex will take part in a 24-hour strike in a row over pay rises this Monday (October 12).This follows First Group s imposition of a zero per cent pay deal. Unite is accusing First Group, of w

MEMBERS of the Unite trade union working for First Bus across Essex will take part in a 24-hour strike in a row over pay rises this Monday (October 12).

This follows First Group's imposition of a zero per cent pay deal. Unite is accusing First Group, of which First Bus is its Essex subsidiary, of using the recession as 'an excuse to freeze pay' on the back of the company posting an annual profit of �134 million.

Bus drivers in Chelmsford, Colchester, Braintree, Clacton, Harwich, Basildon and Hadleigh are set to start a series of 24-hour strikes beginning at 3am on Monday. Subsequent walkouts have been planned for Monday October 26, Monday November 9, and Monday November 23. All bus routes from these garages will be affected.

Talks with ACAS have failed to resolve the dispute. However, Unite is prepared to speak with First Bus at any time to resolve the dispute.


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Unite regional industrial organiser, Steve Linger, said: "These workers are already struggling in the recession to support their families. They need support from their employer and this insulting zero per cent pay offer is simply not acceptable.

"This decision to impose a pay freeze is based on greed. First Group made millions of pounds in profit this year, despite the recession, yet are refusing to play fair by the very employees who helped deliver these profits.

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"This dispute could be resolved if the company returns to the negotiating table with a reasonable offer."

The strike action follows an overwhelming yes vote. Unite has two bargaining groups and the north Essex group voted 84.6 percent in favour of strike action and the south Essex group voted 95 percent in favour.

First Group is facing industrial action at a number of garages around England as a consequence of its zero percent pay policy.

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