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Bus staff to strike

By West Briton  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

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BUS services across Cornwall face major disruption tomorrow as a 24-hour walk-out looks set to go ahead, with more industrial action to follow.

The RMT union representing drivers, engineers and other First Devon and Cornwall staff has informed the company its members will take industrial action, from midnight tonight, after pay talks failed. The walk-out will affect all First depots.

The RMT called the two-year pay offer "long-overdue and derisory" and added that 85 per cent of members voted in favour of strike action, and 90 per cent for action short of a strike.

A second walk-out is planned on November 9, with a week-long ban on overtime November 11 to 17.

The company said the action was "deeply regrettable and very disappointing" and maintained it offered a "very generous deal" of up to 7.1 per cent over two years, with 3.9 per cent guaranteed. The remaining 3.2 per cent would be linked to efficiency improvements, which it said were needed to ensure long-term viability.

But RMT leader Bob Crow said: "This week's massive mandate for action by RMT members 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."

As the West Briton went to press the company was looking at how to minimise service disruption and advised travellers to visit www.firstgroup.com/devon or call 0845 6001420.

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