Unite the Union announced yesterday evening that 53.7 per cent of Arriva workers voted in favour of rejecting the bus company's latest pay offer.
From 2am today, Arriva Yorkshire depots in Castleford, Dewsbury, Heckmondwike, Selby and Wakefield went on strike.
Unite regional officer Phil Brown said: “Strike action was suspended in good faith to allow our members to vote on Arriva’s new offer.
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Since then, Arriva’s management has gone out of its way to destroy any goodwill by interfering during the ballot, which is completely unacceptable.
“Our members want to get back to work, but that requires Arriva to put forward a new offer and for the company to leave the workforce alone while they consider it.”
A spokesperson for Arriva said: “For Unite to call this indefinite strike in Yorkshire with just hours’ notice is appalling.
"Customers who will be relying on buses to travel will be seriously inconvenienced with no warning provided. And for such damaging action to be taken when half of the drivers have not voted to support returning to strike action is shocking.”
“Following extensive negotiations, we have already put forward a fair and generous offer which helps address the cost of living challenge, despite passenger numbers being lower than before the pandemic.”
“Unite should immediately call of the strike and we are calling on ACAS to mediate.”
“We intend to run the limited school service that we ran during the initial strike.”
“We are deeply frustrated on behalf of all our customers and the communities we serve for the disruption they face.”
"To inform passengers at this late hour is incredibly disappointing and leaves people unable to make alternative plans.
“I am particularly concerned about passengers arriving at a bus stop tomorrow only to find out they have no means of transport, other than walking or getting a taxi.
“Communities across West Yorkshire need an urgent resolution to this dispute. With the potential for strike action to continue indefinitely, it seems sensible to invite ACAS in to help broker an agreement between Arriva and Unite for the benefit of bus users.
“I share the frustrations of those who will find getting to school or work difficult in the coming days. My powers to intervene in this dispute remain limited, as unlike London, services here are controlled by private operators.
"However, the free bus service I introduced between Wakefield and Pinderfields hospital will continue ensuring people can keep vital hospital appointments.”