Crucial talks to try avert a three-day bus strike in Huddersfield are to take place.
The Unite union and First Bus Huddersfield confirmed that senior representatives will once again meet around the table on Monday morning, two days before a major three-day strike by union drivers is due to take place.
It follows an earlier strike by the Huddersfield drivers on November 30 which caused massive disruption for travellers.
Hundreds now may walk out for the second time from 3.30am on Wednesday, December 16, until the early hours of Saturday, December 19,over proposed contracts, that would see a reduction in holiday allowances for new employees and could also negatively affect some current workers, according to Unite.
But no contingency plans for customers have yet been announced by First Huddersfield, who said it is concentrating on reaching an agreement in the meeting.
The threatened action follows the one-day stoppage on November 30, which resulted changes or cancellations to 80% of First’s services in the area.
The walkout followed five hours of talks between union officials, the management and officials of the conciliation service Acas.
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Phil Bown, regional officer for Unite, said: “We will be meeting with First at 11am on Monday to discuss the issues and see if there is any movement from bosses regarding the contract proposals.
“Whether there is or not will decide whether we take the strike action as planned, postpone it or call it off altogether if an agreement can be made.
“Obviously, I’d love for First to do something so we can reach an agreement because it would avoid further inconvenience to passengers.
“We have been working very hard on our side but it’s now down to First.”
During the first strike, the union accused the company of “reneging” on an agreement due to be signed in September, a claim denied by the company.
A spokesman for First, said they will not provide any details of contingency plans until after Monday’s meeting, if necessary.
He said: “If the industrial action was to go ahead then we would provide customers with information nearer the time.
“Our focus at the moment is to try continue discussions and try avoid action and that’s something we hope to achieve if Unite will work with us.”