September 23, 2022

Bus workers prepare to strike in Ammanford over wages

Workers at First Cymru Buses are planning to take industrial action linked to wages in Ammanford.

The strike is being organized by the Unite Wales union, and members of First Cymru Buses will strike in five different areas of South and West Wales on Thursday 15 September.

In addition to the strike in Ammanford next Thursday, staff will be on strike in Haverfordwest, Port Talbot, Bridgend and Swansea.

A spokesman for Unite Wales said next Thursday’s strike would be “their first day on strike in a pay dispute”.

The spokesperson continued: “Please show your support for the strikers.”

A spokesperson for First Cymru Buses said: ‘We can confirm that our bus drivers intend to take industrial action, including a ban on overtime and strike days, after rejecting three wage offers to following extensive discussions with the First Cymru management team.

“The final offer made would have seen the drivers receive a 9.5 per cent pay rise as well as arrears until April, with a commitment to start further talks before April 2023.

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“We are extremely disappointed and frustrated that, despite lengthy discussions and multiple ballots, and after trying to give our employees the best salary offer the company can afford, we have not been able to achieve an amicable conclusion of the discussions.

“Bus operations across the UK have been badly affected by the pandemic, but there has been a bigger impact in Wales than in any other part of the UK.

“The business has been hit by a change in travel habits during and after the Covid-19 pandemic and although the number of people using our services is slowly increasing, it is still far below pre-Covid.

“We respect the right of colleagues to act, but to enable the business to recover from the pandemic, we need to work together, keep the wheels rolling and ensure people can go about their daily lives without disruption.”