Socialist Worker

Defend Hackney bus union rep

by Esme Choonara
Issue No. 2106

Strike action at the Hackney CT Plus bus garage in east London planned for Friday of last week was called off at the last minute pending talks with management.

Drivers at the company had struck for six hours on Monday 2 June in a campaign to win the reinstatement of sacked Unite union rep Dennis Shine.

Dennis had worked at the company for three years before standing as a union rep.

Just five weeks after his election he was sacked after refusing to drive a defective bus. His case has gone to an industrial tribunal.

Dennis told Socialist Worker, “I stood as a rep because there are only so many times you can get slapped down and just take it. Sometimes you have stand up and say enough.

“I wanted to make sure that we had an effective union to face the many attacks that were coming from management.

“Just after I was dismissed we found out that the company had won the contract to run bendy buses for the Olympics.

“The company want drivers to do a lot of jobs that are not in our normal contracts, like refuelling and maintenance.

“Drivers need a union that can stand up to this. The strike action obviously rattled management because that’s why they came back asking for talks.”

The decision to suspend the action was taken by union reps inside the garage.

Some drivers felt the strike action should have continued.

Formal talks are due to take place on Monday of next week and further action may follow.

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Article information

Tue 17 Jun 2008, 18:38 BST
Issue No. 2106
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