First Cymru bus drivers put foot down in pay wrangle
BUS users across South West Wales could be in for a day of misery as drivers prepare for a 24-hour strike.
First Cymru bus drivers are said to be planning a day of action later this month in a row over pay.
Although a precise date is yet to be made public it is thought that services will stop on either Wednesday, September 26, or Saturday, September, 29.
First Cymru operates bus services from Bridgend in the east to Haverfordwest in the west. The industrial action is being orchestrated by the Unite union.
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A Swansea-based bus driver, who did not want to be named, said: “We had a meeting with our union and we have voted for a 24-hour strike some time at the end of the month, possibly September 26 or 29.
“We having been having pay talks since January and there is an offer on the table but it comes with too many conditions.
“We haven’t taken this action lightly and we hope that members of the public will support us.
“We haven’t had a pay rise for years, just a £100 supermarket voucher.”
A spokesman for First Cymru said: “We can confirm that we are engaged in ongoing pay negotiations with Unite, the union representing drivers and engineers in South and West Wales.
“The talks are continuing and while we are aware that the union has balloted its members in respect of industrial action we have not yet received formal notification of its intention to go out on strike or take action short of strike.
“There is currently no immediate plan for industrial action. Should this change we will notify our customers and advise them of how the action may affect them. At this time though our energies are devoted to working with the union to resolve the issues for the benefit of everyone.”
David Davies, a Gower resident who led a campaign for more buses in the city, said: “It’s very unfortunate but if it’s about pay and conditions I can sympathises with the drivers.
“I speak to a lot of drivers and they are not very happy.”
A representative of Unite was not immediately available.