First Cymru bus strike: Some services run but most halt

First bus The Unite union had recommended that its members accept First Cymru's new offer

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Some First Cymru Bus services in south Wales are still running a near-normal service despite a 24-hour strike, but the majority of services are cancelled.

The company said staff levels in Bridgend meant they could run 13 services, while Swansea park and ride buses also had a near-normal timetable.

Contracted school bus services are unaffected by the action.

Unite members are taking action after rejecting two pay offers. The union said it was delighted with the turnout.

Simon Cursio, the company's general manager, said: "We are incredibly disappointed that industrial action is taking place at First Cymru.

"Following extensive negotiations, we have offered our drivers and engineers two extremely good deals over the course of the discussions.

"The decision to press ahead with strike action is all the more frustrating since the second offer had the full support and recommendation of the union officials.

"We are running contracted school services and those journeys we operate on a tendered basis on behalf of the local authorities. However, we have been left with no alternative but to cancel the majority of buses today."

The company reported most staff at Bridgend and Cardiff depots were working normally, so near-normal services on routes 4, 12, 14, 21, 22, 61, 62, 63, 63B, 44, 45, 46 and 245 were in operation until around 1800.

PDF download School bus services running on Monday (PDF)[9 KB]

Mr Cursio offered apologies to affected customers, adding that they would do everything reasonably possible to end the dispute.

Gareth Jones, from Unite, said: "We're delighted with the turnout in terms of the action being taken.

"The vast majority of our members have respected the picket lines which we're very happy with."

Mr Jones said it would be a one-day strike, but added: "We can't rule out further stoppages."

Members of the union, who initially rejected a 5% pay rise over 15 months, turned down a new offer last week.

First serves Bridgend, Maesteg, Port Talbot, Neath, Swansea, Llanelli, Carmarthen and south Pembrokeshire, including Haverfordwest.

It also runs Excel services and Swansea to Cardiff Greyhound coaches.

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