RMT members vote “Yes” in ballot for action on First Group buses


RMT members working for First Group buses in Devon and Cornwall have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay.

The ballot follows the rejection of this year’s long overdue pay offer. The company proposal is self-funding – meaning it would have no cost impact on the company and ring-fences their profits.

It includes the loss of paid walking time, the removal of time to do a visual “walk round” check when taking a bus over mid shift and the dilution of the sick pay benefits. This follows on from the removal of the final salary section of the pension scheme, already implemented despite fierce union objections.

In the ballot, members voted by almost 85% for strike action and by over 90% for action short of a strike.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “Today’s massive mandate for action by RMT members on First Devon and Cornwall buses reflects their anger at the failure to come up with a serious pay offer and the attempt to bind up what is on the table with a whole load of strings to make it self-financing at the expense of the workforce.

“The company must take this situation seriously and RMT’s executive will now consider the next move in this dispute.

“Bus services and bus workers in the South West are under a series of attacks as the companies attempt to ramp up and protect profits at the expense of their staff and the travelling public. Our ballot of groups of staff on First Devon and Cornwall buses draws a line in the sand as we fight to protect standards of living.”

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