RMT demands fair pay rise for striking bus workers

RMT demands fair pay rise for striking bus workers

3 November 2022

RMT Press Office:

Transport union RMT slammed greedy First South West for not settling the pay dispute with bus workers, ahead of more strikes.

Bus workers in Somerset and Cornwall will be out on strike Friday 4 November in a dispute over pay.

First South West workers 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.

The union rejected entirely the recent claim by company bosses that they had offered workers a 17.4 percent pay rise over 2 years.

On top of the huge profits First Group has made, First South West itself wholly owns Somerset Passenger Solutions.

For the year ending March 2021, First South West received a dividend income of £2.1 million from SPS.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "It is quite obvious that First South West could pay our members a decent wage rise.

"Instead, they are sitting on their hands hoping this dispute goes away.

"Bus workers will continue their industrial campaign and take further strike action in order to achieve a just settlement."

RMT members will also be taking industrial action on November 18 and 21.



The bus operator First South West is a subsidiary of First Group PLC. First Group paid out £500m to shareholders in 2021/22 and reported an operating profit of £226m.



First South West bought out the joint venture partner for Somerset Passenger Solutions in September 2021, so it is the full owner of the company now.


The latest accounts for First South West are for the year ending March 2021 (i.e. whilst SPS was still a joint venture). During this period First South West received dividend income of £2.1 million from SPS.


The latest accounts for SPS are for the year ending December 2021. During this period it paid out dividends of £3.3m.

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Tagged with: First Group, First South West, Bus, bus Workers, RMT, Mick Lynch