Translink ‘disappointed’ at 7-day bus service ‘shutdown’ strike over pay

Translink has said it will still try to avert strike action after unions announced a seven day ‘shut down’ of public bus services later this month.

Unite bus drivers confirmed the first dates for strike action as they reiterated their call for improved pay this morning.

The industrial action means there will be no routine bus services in the north west and indeed across the entire north from Monday, April 25 to Sunday, May 1.

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Unite said the joint union strike action with GMB, which also represents bus workers, “will shut down public bus services” across Northern Ireland.

Ulsterbus, Translink, Foyle Street Station. DER2126GS - 045

The week of strike action will be followed by a further single day on Friday May 6. It comes after members of the union overwhelmingly voted for industrial action after rejecting the latest Translink management pay offer.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “These bus workers are frontline workers – they deserve respect and a pay increase.

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“Translink needs to grasp that there’s a cost of living crisis destroying the value of wages and return with a more acceptable offer. Unite’s members have my full support and that of their union in taking this strike action for fairer pay.”

A Translink spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that the Unite and GMB Bus Driver Trade Unions have voted to take industrial action.

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Foyle Metro.

“Following extensive negotiations, including with the Labour Relations Agency, we made a pay offer of 3% plus an enhanced package of conditions that included a 7% increase in weekend and overtime rates along with two extra days holiday.”

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Ulsterbus and Metro ‘shut down’ as 7 day strike in Derry and across NI confirmed

“We would welcome the opportunity to engage with unions to cover school duties, so that the wellbeing of schoolchildren can remain a priority. All train services will continue to operate as normal.

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“We will communicate relevant passenger information through the media, on our website www.translink.co.uk, through social media, in stations and on buses and trains.

“Translink apologises for any inconvenience this may cause.”

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Unite deputy Regional Secretary Davy Thompson is lead officer for Translink, Northern Ireland’s bus and rail public transport provider.

He saidd: “Unite represents the overwhelming majority of bus workers, and this strike action taken in conjunction with GMB which also represents bus workers will shut down all bus services.

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“Bus workers deserve a pay increase. The ball is in the court of Translink management. They can to avoid this unnecessary and highly disruptive strike – they need to address our members’ legitimate pay expectations.

“Bus workers deserve a pay increase. The ball is in the court of Translink management. They can to avoid this unnecessary and highly disruptive strike – they need to address our members’ legitimate pay expectations.”