4 days of strikes on Somerset buses
RMT Union members working on buses in Somerset will take strike action from 10 October. they are fighting for better pay and conditions. Four days of strike action will take place on the following dates:
- 10 October
- 21 October
- 4 November
- 11 November
Around 400 workers are planning to take action in Somerset and in a similar action in Cornwall too. They are furious that many of them are only paid just over £11 an hour and have only offered a small uprate to £12 an hour. At the same time they note that First Group paid out £500m to shareholders in 2021/22. First Group is the company that run Somerset’s buses. The RMT state that First also made an operating profit of £226m.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our members have no choice but to take strike action following an insulting and paltry pay offer. The public in Cornwall and Somerset who our members faithfully serve need a service that pays workers properly, so they do not leave the industry, creating chronic bus shortages. We are determined to win for our members, and we urge First Group to come to a negotiated settlement with RMT.”
This will be disappointing to Somerset County Council (SCC) who have recently launched a big campaign to persuade people to use the buses more often. SCC are caught in the middle. The services are provided by First and the union members are First employees.