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Bus strike against pay freeze continues
10:54am Tuesday 15th October 2013 in News
FRUSTRATED bus workers at Network Warrington have walked out today as part of series of strikes over a pay dispute.
Members of the Unite union have begun a picket line outside the company's depot on Wilderspool Causeway.
Unite recently turned down an offer from the bus company following a meeting on Sunday.
Bus company chairman Maureen Banner and executive directors met with Unite representatives where an offer was put forward, which was said to be reasonable in the face of continuing decline in travel numbers and difficult trading conditions.
It is believed that the workers were offered a £100 bonus payment to be paid in December and one extra day’s holiday if staff have a 100 per cent attendance record.
But an overall majority declined the offer amid allegations that the offer was ‘insulting’.
Ron Gaffney, who has worked at the company for 13 years, said: “We have been calling it a ‘good boy’s day’ as we have to be good and not have any day off to be entitled to the extra day.”
A Network Warrington spokesman said: "The board and management of Network Warrington are extremely disappointed with this decision. The company sincerely apologises to customers for the inconvenience caused by the strike."
This is the fourth strike in a series of walkouts over a row with management over pay with two more strikes scheduled to take place next Wednesday and Thursday, October 31.
Richard Lawson, who has been working at the company for seven years, said: “We really do not want to be doing this but we have been forced into a corner because management aren’t prepared to talk to us.
“Four years ago, I enjoyed coming into work and getting up in the morning but that has changed. I have no confidence with the management.”
Bus driver Vinny Hawthorn, who has worked at the company for more than five and a half years, said the reaction he has received from the public has been positive.
Mr Hawthorn said: “A lot of my regulars have shown their support for the strike, saying ‘good luck’."
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