Plymouth buses will be hit by strike action on Friday
BUS drivers and depot staff will take part in a 24-hour strike on Friday which is set to cause disruption to passengers in the city.
First Devon and Cornwall has announced it had been informed by union representatives that a 24-hour walk out will be staged affecting all First depots in both counties.
Transport union RMT – the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers – say they are fighting to protect workers' standards of living after news following a pay dispute between workers and management.
Last week RMT members voted by almost 85 per cent for strike action.
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Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said there were more than 100 First staff in Plymouth and the vast majority were union members.
The strike follows the rejection of what the union called a long overdue pay offer.
The First proposal is self-funding – meaning it would have no cost impact on the company and ring-fences their profits.
The union said it included 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 dilution of sick pay benefits.
It follows the removal of the final salary section of the pension scheme, already implemented despite fierce union objections.
Chrissie Bainbridge, service delivery director for First South Coast, said: "We are incredibly disappointed that the union has called for this action. We are now putting together contingency plans, which we will communicate to customers as soon as possible.
"Industrial action benefits no one. Customers will be inconvenienced, those employees taking action will lose pay for the days that they do not work and the business will suffer as people will find other, alternative ways to get from A to B."
First said it would use its Twitter feeds and Facebook pages, as well as its official website and posters on buses and at key locations to communicate to customers the extent of the disruption.