First Manchester Bus strikes called off as drivers vote on revised pay offer

FIRST Manchester has confirmed strikes due to take place on February 4, 7, 8 and 9 have been called off as the union ballots drivers on a revised pay offer. 

The decision means all First Manchester bus services will operate as normal.

Unite, the UK’s leading union, will ballot its 300 plus members on the new offer and if it is accepted the dispute will have ended.

If members reject the offer then strikes already scheduled for February 15, 17, 18, 21 and 25 will go ahead as planned.

Ian Humphreys, Managing Director of First Manchester, said: “We’re pleased our latest offer is to be voted on and hope this will quickly bring an end to this dispute and the significant hardship it is causing to our customers and our colleagues and their families.”

Unite regional officer Dave Roberts said: “In the spirit of goodwill Unite has suspended its next four days of industrial action to allow its members to be balloted on the improved pay offer.

“From the beginning of this dispute, Unite has made clear it believed it could be resolved through negotiations.

“Once First Manchester returned to the negotiating table with an improved offer progress was made.”

Strike action began in January in the dispute over low rates of pay and has affected services across Manchester.

MPs and councillors from across the area joined a demonstration at the Oldham depot at the end of January in support of the bus drivers.

Customers with pre-bought tickets for any dates of industrial action will be given a refund or replacement tickets to use for future travel.

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