First boss begs bus drivers not to walk out

DOZENS of Rotherham bus drivers could walk out on strike after bosses threatened to impose a pay freeze.

Members of Unite the Union who work for First South Yorkshire are voting over whether to take industrial action.

It comes after managing director Garry Birmingham wrote to all drivers urging them not to back the strike ballot.

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He said First was proposing a 12-month company pay freeze after posting a loss in its accounts for the second year running.

Unite regional officer Phil Bown blasted the move, saying: “First Group is a highly profitable company.

“The losses at First South Yorkshire are only paper losses and have been reducing year on year due to the hard work and dedication of Unite’s members.

Workers are not going to allow this company to impose a real terms pay cut on them, especially given their hard work, dedication and commitment.”

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The ballot of Unite members is due to end on May 30 but it is not yet clear when any industrial action would take place.


Mr Birmingham said in his letter to drivers that industrial action would see “operations throughout South Yorkshire adversely affected as we will lose all the revenue we would normally take when we run out services and the confidence and trust of our loyal customers”.

He added: This is not something our business can realistically afford and is not in the interests of you and our colleagues.

“If you were contemplating voting for industrial action, I seriously encourage you to reflect on the inconvenience your action will have on our customers, stakeholders and other colleagues and the risk any industrial action poses to the future of everyone at First South Yorkshire."