Leeds & West Yorkshire

Striking First Leeds bus workers suspend further action

Bus stop sign in Leeds
Image caption Some First Leeds services have been cancelled with some routes being covered by other firms

Striking bus drivers in Leeds have suspended further action in a bid to resolve an ongoing pay dispute with First Leeds.

Members of the Unite union walked out for 24 hours at 02:00 BST claiming drivers earn £2 less per hour than other regional First drivers.

First Leeds disputed the claim and said it was looking "forward to further talks" with Unite. The union said it wanted a fair settlement.

Drivers were due to walk out on Monday.

The planned action for next week was suspended after First Leeds agreed to talks on either Tuesday or Wednesday involving the conciliation service Acas.

Full details of service disruption

Read more about this and other stories from across West Yorkshire

The bus company said Friday's walk-out had affected all of its services to varying degrees although it had managed to run the vast majority of services.

The action followed two 24-hour strikes last month.

Unite regional officer Phil Brown said it was over members asking for a "decent pay rise".

"Colleagues in other parts of West Yorkshire are on over £2 more than us," he said.

Image caption Union members have staged two 24-hour strikes since 13 June

The union is 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 Brown said: "The management has been in touch today to say that they now wish to enter into meaningful pay negotiations.

"Unite will be entering into these talks in a positive and constructive fashion to seek a fair settlement for our members which would avoid any further industrial action."

Paul Matthews, managing director of First Leeds, said the company "recognises the hard work they do" and had made a revised offer, which amounted to a "substantial pay increase way above inflation".

He said: "I will continue to do all I can to resolve the dispute but I won't be forced to introduce a pay increase the company cannot afford and would push fares up for customers."

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

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites