Leeds & West Yorkshire

Further First Leeds bus strike plans announced

Union members outside a bus depot
Image caption Union members have staged two 24-hour strikes since 13 June

Bus drivers in Leeds have announced plans to stage two further strikes in an ongoing pay dispute with First Leeds.

Members of the Unite union plan to walk out for 24-hours from 02:00 BST on Friday and then for a further six hours from 04:00 on Monday, 11 July.

The drivers claim they earn £2 less per hour than other regional First drivers.

First Leeds disputed the claim and said it was "disappointed" to learn of the new strike plans.

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The company has queried the alleged pay-gap which has prompted two 24-hour strikes by union members since 13 June.

Unite regional officer Phil Bown said its members are seeking a 36p per hour increase with a view to further negotiations in April 2017.

First offered a 38p per hour rise frozen until May 2018 which the union rejected.

Mr Bown said: "We do not want to do this any more than the passengers wants us to do this, we want to go to work and earn a living.

"We're very sorry and we've just spent two weeks not taking any action to have a cooling off period but that's failed and left us with no option but to move to strike action."

First bus services in Bradford, Huddersfield and Halifax are unaffected.

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