Leeds & West Yorkshire

Second Leeds bus strike starts after First pay offer rejected

Union members outside a bus depot
Image caption First bus drivers in Leeds held their first strike on 13 June

Drivers at Leeds' biggest bus operator, First, are staging a second 24-hour strike.

Unite members rejected a 3% pay offer tabled by First when talks were held with conciliatory service ACAS earlier this month.

The union said services across the city and the 72 between Bradford and Leeds were affected.

FirstLeeds managing director Paul Matthews said the strike was a "massive inconvenience for customers".

Live updates on this story and others from West Yorkshire

Phil Brown, of Unite, said bus drivers had been "backed into a corner".

"All our members are asking for is a decent pay rise," he said. "Colleagues in other parts of West Yorkshire are on over £2 more than us.

"We met hoping to resolve the dispute but were offered a worse deal than we originally rejected."

A spokesman for First queried how Unite had come to the £2 figure, saying the company "doesn't recognise any such difference".

'They won't listen'

Mr Brown apologised to passengers but said: "It's a last resort... but [First] is the one with the purse strings and the cash to resolve it.

"We've put countless counter-proposals on the table but they won't listen."

Mr Matthews said: "This is very disappointing news that will create massive inconvenience for our customers as well as hardship for our staff.

"Our offers continue to be well above inflation, as the pay deals have been each year for the last four years."

He said First was "open to meaningful negotiation to agree an affordable deal but not one that will push fares up for customers."

Unite said it was hopeful of taking part in further talks and had no plans for further strike dates.

First routes in Halifax and Huddersfield are unaffected, and Leeds' park-and-ride service is running as normal.

Get full details of service disruption here.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

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