Bus strike set to be called off

BUS drivers look unlikely to resort to a fresh round of strike action this week following successful talks, it emerged last night.Officials from the Transport & General Workers' Union (TGWU) and bus company First have agreed a “mutually acceptable” deal that looks set to avert further industrial action.

By Danielle Nuttall

BUS drivers look unlikely to resort to a fresh round of strike action this week following successful talks, it emerged last night.

Officials from the Transport & General Workers' Union (TGWU) and bus company First have agreed a “mutually acceptable” deal that looks set to avert further industrial action.

A spokeswoman for First said last night that planned strike action for Thursday is suspended, pending the outcome of a ballot of which the parties are described as “hopeful” of a successful outcome.


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The organisations have been meeting with the support of arbitration service Acas.

A seven-day strike held by members TGWU ended at midnight last Wednesday , with services returning to normal.

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The union had threatened further action if the bus company does not “move” to resolve the matter.

But speaking last week, Keith Andrews, managing director of First Eastern Counties, said he believed there was absolutely every chance there would be no further action.

The strike was originally triggered over pay and conditions, however the dispute over pay and back pay is believed to have been resolved last week.

The only sticking point remaining was thought to have been the company's wish to protect employee's pensions, which involves linking pensions to the accepted inflation index, the Retail Price Index (RPI).

Last night Dave Caller, fleet chairman with the TGWU, said he was “very hopeful” there would be no further industrial action, and said a ballot would take place from tomorrow through to Friday.

“We got a pay deal that was acceptable to the union and we ironed out the problems regarding the pensions clauses,” he added.

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