Passengers warned of bus driver strike
THOUSANDS of bus passengers will be stuck at their stops on Monday if a 24-hour walkout by First Cymru bus drivers and engineers goes ahead.
The industrial action will affect all First bus depots in South and West Wales.
Bosses of the bus operator said they were "incredibly disappointed", adding they would do their best to resolve the dispute between now and next week.
The action has been taken by members of the union Unite.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
If it goes ahead, it will mean disruption to thousands of passengers across South West Wales.
First Cymru said its managers had met Unite on a number of occasions and had offered its employees what it considered to be a generous pay deal.
It said the deal on the table would, over the course of 15 months, be worth up to 5 per cent to employees.
Allen Parker, service delivery director for First in the West and Wales, said: "We are incredibly disappointed that the union has called for this action and that they are preparing to strike on Monday, October 1.
"The offer that we have put on the table is a very good one.
"It guarantees drivers and engineers a 1.5 per cent pay increase from October 1 this year, a guaranteed 2 per cent increase from January 1, 2013, and the potential to earn another 1.5 per cent increase from January 1, 2013, through efforts to reduce the number of staff and passenger injuries, and further improve driving standards.
"The offer also adds to an already generous pay and benefits package."
He said drivers earned on average around £20,000 per year, with some earning up to £27,000.
Mr Parker said they also got 33 days' holiday, including bank holidays, paid sick leave, pension schemes, free bus travel for them and their immediate families and reduced price train travel, among other things.
"Industrial action benefits no one," added Mr Parker.
No-one was available to comment for Unite.
First Cymru hit the headlines last week when a city man alleged poor service from the bus operator had made him regret selling his car.
Mark Davies, who lives in the city centre, sold his Vauxhall Vectra for a new start as a bus commuter.
But he said a number of problems with services had left him ruing that decision.
"It turned out to be the worst thing I have done," he said.
A First spokeswoman apologised to Mr Davies, saying they took customer feedback incredibly seriously and the team had responded to complaints that had been logged.