First Bus Strike

(thisistotalessex) – BUS SERVICES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY will be hit on Monday when more than 600 drivers and staff of First in Essex stage the first of a series of four 24-hour strikes.

The industrial action over pay will begin at 3am and be repeated fortnightly unless a deal can be reached between the Unite union and management.

A First spokesman said that school buses and the Chelmsford Park and Ride will still run with managers driving — although Stansted Airport services will not operate.

The managing director of bus operator First in Essex, Alan Pilbeam, said he was disappointed by the decision

Eighty-four percent at five depots in the north of the county voted for action following a pay freeze, while 95 percent of workers at garages in Basildon and Hadleigh were in favour.

Mr Pilbeam said: ‘It is very disappointing that despite our best efforts, Unite, the union, has decided to follow this course of action that will result in inconvenience to the lives of tens of thousands of our passengers and severe disruption to businesses in the region.

‘We are not asking for pay cuts or even job cuts, only that our drivers continue to work for the same hourly rate as they did last year.’

Regional industrial organiser Steve Linger said that discussions had reached an impasse. Drivers were looking for a pay deal after the company reported a £134 million profit.

The depots affected are Chelmsford, Colchester, Braintree, Clacton, Harwich, Hadleigh and Basildon.

… (BBC, 26/10/2009) – Some bus drivers call off strike

… (BBC, 08/11/2009) – East London Bus Drivers To Strike

… (FirstGroup, 09/11/2009) – Check for latest information

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