Strike vote by First bus workers in Devon and Cornwall

First bus
Image caption First Devon and Cornwall employs about 500 people

Hundreds of bus workers in Devon and Cornwall have voted for industrial action in a dispute over pay.

The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said members were angry at First Group's failure to come up with a "serious pay offer".

First employs about 500 people in Devon and Cornwall. Of the 300 who took part in the RMT ballot, 85% voted for strike action.

The company said it would not comment on the ballot.

The RMT said 92% of members had voted for for action short of a strike and general secretary Bob Crow described it as a "massive mandate for action".

Mr Crow said First's pay offer was "self-funding" - meaning it would have no cost impact on the company and ring-fences their profits.

He said the company had already removed the final salary section of the pension scheme and was now trying to "bind up what's on the table with a whole load of strings".

"Today's massive mandate for action by RMT members on First Devon and Cornwall buses reflects their anger at the failure to come up with a serious pay offer," Mr Crow said.

"Bus services and bus workers in the South West are under a series of attacks as the companies attempt to ramp up and protect profits at the expense of their staff and the travelling public.

"Our ballot of groups of staff on First Devon and Cornwall buses draws a line in the sand as we fight to protect standards of living.

He said the union would not be rushing in to strike action, but would seek a negotiated settlement.

"We don't want to take action for the sake of it; we actually want the company to get a negotiated agreement without strike action."

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