'SCROOGE' AND 'despot' was how bus workers on strike at Yorkshire Traction buses described their boss, Frank Carter, last week. Around 700 bus drivers, engineers and clerical workers, members of the TGWU union, were holding their third one day strike in three weeks to demand a decent pay rise from Carter. The solid strike is already costing Carter £120,000 for each strike day as services across west and south Yorkshire are hit. Pickets were out at the Sheffield Road depot in a lively show of force last week.
Since privatisation Carter has built up a lucrative bus empire, yet some of his workers get just £3.70 an hour. Carter has tried to intimidate the strikers by attempting to victimise three pickets at Yorkshire Traction's Rawmarsh depot. The best way for the union leadership to fight any attack on the strikers is to step up the action. Yorkshire Traction workers were due to strike again on Friday of this week.
Send messages of support and donations to the strikers via the TGWU Regional Office, 2 Riverside Court, Meadowhall Road, Sheffield.
'WE'VE SHOWN the company we're not going to be pissed about any more.' That was the conclusion of Mick Guernari, one of the Essex bus drivers whose successful strike action forced bosses at the Eastern National company to increase their pay rise.
Eastern National is owned by Britain's biggest bus operator, First Group. The drivers hit the company with two solid one day strikes in November. The Essex drivers voted to accept the new pay offer in a workplace ballot on Thursday of last week. The two year deal includes a rise of 4.2 percent on basic rates backdated to April, followed by a rise of 5.3 percent on basic rates from December to March next year. From April next year the rise is 4 percent on all rates. The ballot saw 244 vote for the deal and 124 against.
SOCIALIST Worker sellers in Bristol have received a letter from the TGWU union branch thanking them for their solidarity during the local bus strike. Bus workers at First Badgerline held a one day strike two weeks ago over pay. Socialist Worker sellers went down to picket lines with collections and union members sent messages of support to the strikers.
The letter, from trade union fleet coordinator C A Wayte, says: 'I write on behalf of the TGWU 2/114 branch members thanking those people who gave their kind support and donations during our day of action, and of course to Socialist Worker for arranging the collection of those donations. We have now resolved our dispute with the company as a result of further negotiations following the day of action. The increased offer was not only down to the one day strike but also due to the support received from people such as yourselves.'