Mayor calls for bus company to ‘put people before profit’ as strikes continue

·2-min read
One of the Liverbirds that sits atop of the Royal Liver Building (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)
One of the Liverbirds that sits atop of the Royal Liver Building (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

The Mayor of Liverpool has called on a bus operator to “put people before profit” as workers approach a second week of strike action.

Arriva North West workers went on strike last Wednesday, meaning the operator has been unable to run services in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and parts of Cheshire.

Last week, Arriva said there was no date for services to resume and asked the Unite and GMB unions to call off the action and let workers vote on a pay offer of 8.5%.

On Tuesday, Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson wrote to Arriva chief executive Mike Cooper and criticised the “pitifully low pay increase” offered to workers.

The company provides two thirds of the bus services which operate in Liverpool, the mayor said.

Posting the letter on Twitter, Ms Anderson said: “I stand in solidarity with bus workers demanding better working conditions and fairer pay.

“I also recognise the impact that this strike is having, particularly on our most vulnerable residents.

“I’ve written to Arriva to demand they resolve this and put people before profit.”

In her letter, the Labour mayor said Arriva must “take some responsibility” for the well-being of workers.

She said: “The staggered 8.5%rise in pay that Arriva have put forward will do nothing to protect workers from the cost-of-living crisis.

“With 5% of the increase being implemented from April and the other 3.5% in October, this will push workers into working poverty.

“I urge Arriva to return swiftly to negotiations with a view to prioritise decent pay and deliver vital bus services to our communities.”

On Wednesday, commuters will face even more disruption to public transport as a planned strike by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at train companies and Network Rail goes ahead.

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