Two more bus strikes called in Leeds

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Public transport users were today told to brace themselves for two more bus strikes.

Members of the Unite union working at operator First are set to walk out for 24 hours from 2am this Friday, July 8.

A second stoppage is due to follow from 4am to 10am next Monday, July 11.

Around 1,000 bus drivers and other staff at First’s Bramley and Hunslet Park depots in Leeds staged two 24-hour strikes last month in their ongoing dispute with the operator over pay.

First was only able to run about 20 per cent of its normal services during the walkouts.

The firm’s managing director in Leeds, Paul Matthews, attended a Unite branch meeting in the city last night in the hope of averting further strike action but it ended without an agreement being reached.

Mr Matthews said today: “To try and bring this dispute to an end we’ve offered a revised deal, again providing a substantial pay increase way above inflation, that Unite have refused to put to all drivers for their consideration.

“Yet again this will mean our customers will suffer because of this unnecessary action by Unite.

“I will continue to do all I can to resolve the dispute but I won’t be forced to introduce a pay increase which the company cannot afford and would push fares up for customers.”

Bus services operated by First in Bradford, Huddersfield and Halifax will be unaffected by the forthcoming strikes.