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Bus Strikes in Cornwall
11:54am 26th October 2012
(Updated 11:54am 26th October 2012)
Cornish bus passengers are hit by strike action.
Drivers at First are staging a twenty-four hour walk out as part of a row over pay after last ditch talks on Wednesday evening failed to reach agreement.
The company says services 918, 912, 914, 917, 998, 997, 994, 995, 925, 924, 927, 922, 950, 985, 987, 989, 982, 983, 984, 913, 988, 940, 928 Eden P&R and 101 are running.
The Plymouth to Tavistock school bus is operating. In Torpoint, only the school bus is running. Falmouth college buses 998 and 989 are running and Tremough Uni 88 is starting at 10am and first pick up is On the Moor at Falmouth and then normal route and will run all day
In Camborne, the college buses and all 900 series are running, but nothing else.
First says it was prioritising contracted school and college services in Cornwall and hope to run contracted services to Truro College, a shuttle bus service between Falmouth and the Tremough Campus and the Eden Rider service. In Devon it was planning to run services to Tavistock School and a reduced Park and Ride Service in Plymouth, with buses running approximately every half an hour, rather than every seven minutes on normal days.
A spokesperson for First apologised to customers whose services were disrupted on Friday. They said: "In this current economic climate we believe this action is very selfish. With many people out of work and other facing pay freezes and tougher times, we are very disappointed that the Union representing our drivers and engineers has turned down a two year pay deal.
"The offer that the union rejected was straightforward: it guaranteed staff a pay increase from 2 December along with a one off lump sum payment on the same date, and similarly offered them a further pay increase from April next year."
It added that drivers currently earn around £17,000 with the opportunity to increase that through overtime.
Phil Bialyk from the RMT Union said: "This is so disappointing that we have to reach this situation. Please believe me we have not taken it lightly. We have nowhere else to go. We are deeply sorry for upsetting anybody - that is not our intention.
"We have been trying for the last six to seven months to try to resolve this. We have had long meetings with the company. This is the last thing we want to do. We really do believe we have no option but to take this action."
Another strike is already scheduled for 9 November and there could be more disruption on 11 and 17 November when staff refuse to work overtime on rest days.
Services run by other companies, such as Western Greyhound, are not effected.11:54am 26th October 2012
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