Bus drivers threaten FirstGroup with strike

FirstGroup, the bus and rail company, is facing industrial action on Monday from drivers striking against a pay freeze.

Several thousand bus drivers will walk out over the dispute, threatening services on hundreds of routes, the Unite trade union warned yesterday. The union claims FirstGroup has imposed a pay freeze on all 19 of its bus operations, despite having made a £200m profit last year. "This imposition of a national pay freeze at a time of record profits for the company may well be the straw that breaks the camel's back," said Graham Stevenson of Unite. FirstGroup said it hoped disputes would be settled by negotiations, and said talks were going on locally, with different offers having been made around the UK.