Devon

First Devon and Cornwall bus staff in RMT strike ballot

Bus workers in Devon and Cornwall are being balloted over possible strike action in a dispute over "essential" staff transport.

In May First Devon and Cornwall announced it would be withdrawing its early morning "Staff Trooper" bus which staff use to travel to work.

The RMT union said the ballot would close on 5 July.

First Devon and Cornwall said the service was "underused" which made it uneconomical to run.

'No reason'

Bob Crowe, from the RMT, said: "Many of our members relied on the Staff Trooper to get to work and the company has refused point-blank to enter into dialogue with RMT to either change their decision or modify their proposals.

"This is a purely penny-pinching measure at a time when First Group profits have risen by 14.3% in the last year as a result of our members hard work."

General Manager of First Devon and Cornwall, Robbie Lamerton, said: "This service was underused, benefiting only 6% of the workforce (an average 10 people a day used it out of a workforce of 168).

"Where people have highlighted a problem, shifts have been altered to ensure staff have been able to get to work on time."

"We will continue to discuss the matter with the Union. We see no reason for the ballot announcement by the RMT and the uncertainty it creates for our customers," he added.

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