Iain Dalton, Yorkshire Socialist Party
After four weeks of strike action across Yorkshire, Arriva bus workers have forced the company to increase their offer over these negotiations, to the point that the strike committee has suspended the action while a ballot of the members takes place on the latest offer.
While not meeting Unite’s full demands, the latest offer is much closer to the rate of inflation than before, and even above it for those on the lowest rate. It is the same in cash terms across all rates, unlike previous divisive offers, when Arriva management tried to play different groups of workers off against each other.
Apart from a handful of school bus services, and a service provided by another company, the strike has been solid. Our Socialist Party stalls in Castleford, Dewsbury, Selby and Wakefield have found overwhelming public support, particularly from other key workers facing below-inflation pay offers.
Given that strength, some workers will worry it is a mistake to suspend the action for the ballot rather than potentially pushing for more, while others may feel that the four weeks of action have pushed the company some distance from their previous offer, and worry about how much longer they would have to be out to win more. Regardless of how the ballot goes, the lesson that has already been taken on board by many workers on the picket lines is confidence that they can successfully strike, and that taking action works in terms of forcing concessions from the Arriva bosses. Many other workers preparing for action will also take confidence from those facts.