Below is a statement from the First Dorset bus drivers who are campaigning against ‘poverty pay’;
“Facts About the Strike.
1 First annual profit £52 Million after tax across the UK
2 First Dorset pay Weymouth and Bridport drivers the lowest wages, known as ‘poverty pay’, around £8.80 per hour.
3 Yeovil drivers receive 70p per hour more. East Dorset drivers receive £2 per hour more. Devon recently also had their pay upped for the next year.
4 First will only go to conditional Arbitration which means they don’t want to negotiate in favour of upping pay with Unite. They lie when saying they want to negotiate.
5 So far First Dorset have spent around £500,000 paying scab drivers £10-£20 per hour, putting them up in hotels and buying them food. The cost of paying the striking drivers their ( demanded ) pence per hour increase is estimated at £43,000 a year.
Boycott the busses during the strikes until they have really negotiated and upped the wages. Pass the truth on.”
The South Dorset Labour/Momentum Party held a benefit night at the Centenary Club in Weymouth on Thursday 1st September, in aid of the striking drivers featuring Jack Scrumpy and The Moonshiners. This band are really hot and if you get a chance to see them bring your dancing shoes! The Club bar staff donated their time and along with the entry fee, an auction ( donated items such as a dog agility set… ), and a collection, over £500 was raised for the strike fund.