Express & Star

West Midlands bus strike met with mixed reactions as dispute over pay and conditions rumble on

Ongoing bus strikes have been met with mixed reactions by Express & Star readers on social media.

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Bus drivers employed by National Express are striking.

National Express services are now few and far between after drivers rejected a 14.3 per cent pay rise, with just a handful of routes serving hospitals.

Bus drivers are on picket lines across the West Midlands, including Wolverhampton depot, where they have been holding banners that read: "National Express: Shame on You. Billions in the bank. Lousy pay for workers. Pay up now."

A number of comments on Facebook and Twitter accuse drivers' demands as "pure greed", while others are backing the workers praising them for taking a stand over fairer pay and conditions.

Facebook user James Cartwright said he's "with the employees" but expects a turn of events later in the year.

He said: "I'm with employees striking for a better pay and better working conditions but when they are turning down offers like that it's madness.

"They will all be moaning in six months time when the company tells them they've got to make redundancies."

Nat ky'Lanandamari Williams disagrees saying there are other reasons leading the strikes.

She said: "Its not just pay, its all the strings that are attached to it, the working conditions and the abuse they have to put up with everyday. Oh, and let's not forget the unsociable hours they are expected to work - but hey, it's about greed."

Michelle Jackson said: "Split-shifts drivers are out for 14 hours a day and only getting paid for seven and half hours. They get stupid little breaks so they can't return home - that's really unfair."

Another Facebook user Kelly Thackery, said: "It's all about greed. They've been offered more than firefighters, train drivers and nurses got offered. It's safer now to be a driver than years ago."

But Robert Burnett, whose Facebook page says he is a National Express driver, replied saying he was assaulted last year.

One commenter under the name IB Dove thinks there's a gap in the market. They said: "Need more competitive companies! There are mini buses (takes 10 passengers) in other countries, they run the same route as ordinary buses. Niche for new businesses!"

Vera Waters said she has been unaffected by the strikes. She said: "I have had a painless journey, thanks to the 35a Diamond bus and the wonderful drivers of the 529 who have worked today to take me from Walsall into Wolverhampton and back."