RMT Press Office
Bus workers will take strike action in Somerset and Cornwall today in an increasingly bitter dispute over pay and conditions.
Despite talks with the company, First South West (FSW) have failed to put forward a new offer on pay and conditions.
In an attempt to undermine collective bargaining and undermine the strike, First South West have tried to tell their staff that they have offered movement on pay.
However, the union can only consider formal written offers from the company and despite our negotiators attempts at good faith discussions, nothing has been forthcoming.
RMT members working for First South West in Somerset and Cornwall are angry that many of them are only paid just over £11 an hour and that bosses only offered a small uprate to £12 an hour.
This is despite the fact, First Group which owns FSW, has operating profits up until September of £66 million compared to £52 million for the first half of last year.
General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “First South West have behaved disgracefully and have not negotiated in good faith with RMT.
“They are treating their own workforce with contempt by circulating falsehoods to bus workers which are not worth the paper they are printed on.
“First South West bosses are fully aware that RMT can only consider formal offers in writing. That’s how you reach a negotiated settlement.
“Our members are furious at their behaviour and will now deliver a robust response on picket lines in Cornwall and Somerset.
“The travelling public should be aware that it is the profit hungry privately owned bus company that is unwilling to find a solution, not RMT.”