Arriva bus strike off: Manchester dispute ends after 29 days of walk-outs as union members accept new pay deal

Workers have secured an 11.1% pay offer, which one of the trade unions involved in the dispute hailed as a ‘magnificent victory’.

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The Arriva bus strike in Greater Manchester is over after workers overwhelmingly accepted a new pay deal in a ballot.

Employees at the bus operator went on 29 days of strike action across the North West in protest at wages which were felt to be inadequate in the face of the cost of living crisis.

On Friday (19 August), though, several weeks of industrial action and severe disruption for passengers in the city-region came to an end after a pay offer of 11.1% was accepted.

Unite, one of the two trade unions involved in the dispute along with GMB, hailed the outcome as a “magnificent victory”.

What happened to bring the dispute to a conclusion?

After four weeks of strike action the industrial dispute was concluded when a pay offer of 11.1% was overwhelmingly accepted by the employees in a ballot.

The offer was tabled earlier in the week and strike action was suspended on Thursday (18 August) while two days of voting took place.

That move came just 24 hours after a previous pay offer of 9.6% was turned down by the union members.

The pay deal involves more than 2,000 workers across the North West and is worth an additional average of £2,300 on their salaries. This is equal to an extra £55 per week.

Unite said its members voted by almost 10 to one in favour of the new deal.

What has the Unite union said?

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members stood strong for a month. They thoroughly deserve their magnificent victory. This is how Unite responds to the cost of living crisis, with a win that will put an extra £55 per week in our members’ wallets.

“Arriva North West’s German parent company could well afford to raise pay. We say to other employers, take note – where you can pay, you should do so.”

Dave Roberts, Unite regional officer, added: Our members made it abundantly clear from day one what it would take to settle this dispute.

“They stayed true to their demands even when the company refused to listen. Our members stood strong and achieved the outcome they deserved. The solidarity shown among the Unite members has been magnificent and an inspiration to all.”

What has Arriva said?

An Arriva spokesperson said: “We can confirm our latest pay offer has been accepted by Unite and GMB members, this means industrial action in now concluded and Arriva services will continue to operate as normal throughout the North West.

“The pay offer made is going to place challenges upon the sustainability of the network and we are focused on minimising that impact.”