Bus drivers have agreed to suspend strike action from tomorrow (Friday) as an ‘act of good faith’ after Unite the Union received assurances from Arriva managers that a new substantial offer, which could be sufficient to resolve the dispute, was being prepared.
All out strike action, involving members of Unite resumed yesterday after members rejected the bus company’s latest pay offer.
However, Unite said the strike action would be suspended from tomorrow, and negotiations on the new offer will begin.
Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “As an act of good faith Unite will suspend strike action from this Friday. This should give sufficient space and time for a new offer to be negotiated.”
Staff at Arriva Yorkshire initially went on strike on 6 June, with bus drivers and engineers, based at depots in Selby, Castleford, Dewsbury, Heckmondwike and Wakefield walking out in a dispute over low pay.
Unite says the low pay means bus workers are struggling to make ends meet amid the cost of living crisis. Newly recruited bus drivers are paid only £9.78 an hour - which is 28 pence above the minimum wage.
Strike action was suspended on 30 June to allow the Unite’s members to vote on a new pay offer from Arriva. More than 650 members of Unite recorded a 53.7 per cent vote in favour of rejecting the offer.
Following the deal’s rejection, continuous strikes began again at 2am yesterday (Wednesday).
A spokesman for Arriva said: "We can confirm that Unite have agreed to suspend strike action across Yorkshire whilst we return to talks on a pay offer for Yorkshire members. Services will operate as normal from Friday 15 July and any further strike action will have 14 days’ notice."