First Bus Drivers Strike Again
7:51am 10th February 2014
(Updated 9:10am 10th February 2014)
Bus drivers working for First in Weymouth and Bridport are out on strike today in a row over pay (Monday 10th February).
First say that they've proposed a 1.5% pay award and that following talks with Unite last week, they offered a revised pay offer. Company bosses claim the offer was fully recommended by the union, but it was rejected by the membership in a ballot.
The dispute is over drivers' pay, which Unite say is currently £8.30 an hour, and that regional colleagues earn over £10 an hour.
Carl Wainwright, Chair of the Trades Council said “Bus drivers from Weymouth are on lower wages than other local depots. Drivers I have spoken to have expressed concerns over the hours they must work to earn the same living as colleagues in the area.”
Tim Nicholls, Secretary of the Trades Council added, “I have spoken to bus drivers and they have told me that due to low pay, they are working the legal maximum of 13 days out of 14 and work overtime to make ends meet.”
Tim continued “Drivers also told me that in the Summer, they can be on the bus for up to 6 hours. On some duties this can be followed by a 36 minute break before another four and a half hour drive.”
To appease passengers caught up in today’s action First are offering some reduced fares and changes have been made to some services, but the bus company say they're trying to provide as normal a service as possible.
Normal timetables will operate on services 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 47 and 387 which serve Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester, Poole, Bridport and Yeovil.
Service 31 will be running a full service between Dorchester South Station to Axminster between 0700hrs and 1900hrs. Customers travelling to and from Weymouth should use Service 10 and change buses at Dorchester.
First also says all school and college buses are also scheduled to operate. These will include Service 753 from Beaminster Square leaving at 0720hrs and arriving at Weymouth College at 0837hrs. The return Service 753 journey will leave Weymouth College at 1705hrs and will arrive in Beaminster Square at 1825hrs.
One Service x53 will run during the day leaving Lyme Regis Post Office at 0640hrs going via Weymouth College will arrive at Weymouth King Statue at 0814hrs.
The bus company are asking people to check their website before travelling: http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/dorset/ or listen to travel reports on Wessex FM.