BUS WORKERS in Essex staged their second one day strike over pay on Friday of last week. The strikes are the first for 29 years at Eastern National, now owned by the giant First Bus outfit. The action shut depots in towns across Essex, including Colchester, Chelmsford, Bishop's Stortford, Braintree and elsewhere.
In all over 600 drivers were out. 'Virtually nothing is moving across the county,' said workers' TGWU union convenor Steve Edwards. In 1985 wages for drivers at the company were 7 percent above average male manual earnings. By 1997 this had fallen to 13 percent below.
Mick Guernari, chair of the Colchester branch of the TGWU, said last week, 'The strike on 23 October was good, but today has been excellent. It has been a very successful day. Management came up with a three year deal which we totally rejected. I can produce a wage slip from five years ago where I was taking home the same money as now. It's not all about money. It's about safety, driving crap hours and assaults on drivers.'