Wigan buses are still off the road as Arriva drivers continue strike action
Bus services in Wigan will continue to be disrupted after drivers rejected a pay offer.
Staff from Arriva buses have been on strike for almost a month in a dispute over pay, with services in Wigan and across the North West affected.
More than 1,800 drivers are involved in the industrial action and trade union GMB says 96 per cent of its members voted to go on strike initially.
The firm has made an improved pay offer this week, but more than three-quarters of the drivers voted to reject the deal and continue with strike action.
George Patterson, GMB regional organiser, said: “Working people are facing the worst cost-of-living crisis for a generation. These drivers are fighting for a fair pay rise to help them through it.
“We need something better from Arriva. Bus drivers need to know that they’ll be able to cover their bills.
“We won’t stop fighting for our members to get the decent pay they deserve.”
A spokesman for Arriva said: “We are incredibly disappointed that Unite and GMB members have voted not to accept our latest pay offer, inflicting yet further disruption and misery on our customers in the North West.
“Following the rejection of our latest pay offer today, we agreed to meet the union's pay demand in an attempt to end this strike action. The unions responded by significantly increasing their pay demand for the second time in this process. This brings into question their intentions.
“The unions are fully aware of the financial implications we face and the implications for our customers and local bus networks across the North West.
“We will continue to do all we can to resolve this dispute as quickly as possible. We understand the detrimental impact this situation is having on our customers, our communities, our local economy. We urge the unions to reconsider their position, act in good faith and show a genuine willingness to resolve this dispute for the benefit of their members and our customers.”
The strike action means no planned Arriva bus services are operating within Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire or Cheshire, except for local Macclesfield services.