On the Picket Line

UK bus drivers strike to protect their wages from inflation

By Hugo Wils
August 8, 2022

MANCHESTER, England — Bus drivers working for Arriva North West in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, and across Lancashire went on strike July 20 to fight to protect their wages from being driven down by double-digit inflation. The strikers are members of Unite and GMB unions.

Unite says its members are striking over an insulting choice of either a 3% raise with no strings attached, or a 6% raise if workers agreed to cutbacks in sick pay and the loss of Saturday overtime pay. Both offers are far below the current government measure of inflation of 11.7% and would constitute a pay cut.

At the depot in Wythenshawe here, Jim Charnley, chairman of the local Unite branch, told the Militant, “People are looking at their kids, struggling with fuel, gas, electric. We need to keep up with inflation. What’s different now is that the union is supporting strikes.

“I’ve never known an indefinite strike here before,” he added. “We had some one-day strikes about five years ago.”