England

Go North East bus drivers vote for strike action

  • 11 March 2013
  • From the section England

Bus passengers across the north-east of England have been warned of disruption after a strike vote by drivers.

Go North East faces three days of action on 15, 18 and 23 March after staff rejected a new pay deal.

The Unite union said it had tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a two-year deal on behalf of its 1,400-strong membership worth about 4.5%.

The company operates services throughout Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Teesside.

Go North East said it expected to operate a number of "skeleton services" on strike days, with priority given to school runs and hospital shuttles.

A company spokesman said: "Every effort will be made to run as many services as possible and priority will be given to running services for schools.

'Fair share'

"We are contacting schools following advice to the local authorities to whom we are contracted for these services, and we are also prioritising services for other contractors such as hospitals.

"We anticipate being able to operate a number of other services and will provide a network of skeleton services across the areas of the region that we serve."

A Unite spokeswoman said: "The company's below inflation pay offer means a pay cut in real terms when prices are going up.

"The drivers take home £240 a week, they are struggling to support their families, with some having to rely on benefits.

"We want the company to be successful, but the workers who make the company a success should get their fair share."

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