Why we need to stop moaning about the Arriva bus strikes
Try finding out why they are actually striking first
It has just been announced that there will be another nine days of Arriva bus strikes in December, leading to uproar as students face a difficult commute into uni without the 699. You may be annoyed, but have you taken a moment to look into why they are actually doing it?
The bus drivers and Arriva are in a standoff with strikes set to continue until a compromise can be met. Arriva are putting the blame on their drivers and the union, despite the strikes being a result of them refusing to pay their drivers fairly.
The aim behind the strikes are better, fairer pay rises in line with inflation. This surely seems only fair when Arriva make such huge profits. It's also worth noting that the drivers are hoping a compromise is met before the scheduled strike days so the strikes can be avoided, they aren't trying to piss off the public intentionally.
The bus drivers' argument is that Arriva, a multi-million pound company can afford to pay it's drivers more as they provide a large chunk of the company's income. Arriva drivers currently earn around £23,000 a year, more than Stagecoach drivers who earn slightly less at £22,400 a year. Arriva drivers still feel they deserve to earn more though as the company makes huge profits every year.
The drivers aren't looking to disrupt and inconvenience the public and have apologised in advance for the inconvenience caused by the strikes. The union feels industrial action in the run-up to Christmas could be the only way to force Arriva to make them a serious offer at the negotiating table.
The striking bus drivers have the support of the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson. He told the Echo “My view is that I back the Arriva bus strike and I think they are fighting for an increase in pay that they should be given because they work hard. The company is making huge profits and I think it is important that everyone recognises the valuable work that drivers and bus staff do.”
Joe Anderson also fired warning shots to Arriva telling them he won't forget how they have acted on this issue when it comes to negotiating future transport deals, urging them sort the issue out to prevent further strikes.
The problems caused by bus strikes only highlight what an essential service the drivers provide, and therefore surely the drivers deserve a pay increase?