Socialist Worker

Bus strikes halted in Merseyside

by Mark L Thomas
Issue No. 2222

Huge picket lines in August (Pic: Dominic Williams)

Huge picket lines in August (Pic: Dominic Williams)


A planned strike by bus workers at Stagecoach Merseyside was called off on Friday of last week, after management offered a new pay deal.

Workers were voting on the deal as Socialist Worker went to press. The new offer is 5.1 percent over two years, with some of the money backdated.

Yet this is only 0.1 percent more than the original offer—which was lowered to 4 percent on the eve of an earlier planned strike.

The deal also contains promises to resolve issues over workplace harassment.

Unite union reps report that this increased during the dispute and become a key issue.

Workers struck for four days with near solid support at the end of August, with an impressive 140 joining the picket line.

But unfortunately, when management made a “new”, reduced offer, a second one-day strike was called off.

Workers should reject the new offer and return to strikes. Management can’t get away with making last minute “offers”—in some cases even worse than the original—to get action suspended. The best way to beat bullying is to show that workers won’t be pushed around.


Abdul Omer case

Action needs to be taken in defence of Abdul Omer Mohsin. Abdul Omer, a Unite union convenor at Sovereign Buses in west London, was sacked in April this year.

Unite’s official position is to back Abdul Omer’s campaign for reinstatement.

He also has the backing of the Unite branch at Sovereign, the London bus conference and Unite assistant general secretary Len McCluskey.

Abdul Omer was sacked for successfully carrying out union activities and for organising a strong Unite branch.

But months down the line there is no move to ballot for action. If Unite throws its weight behind getting a vote for industrial action, that ballot can be won.

Send messages of support to defendabdulomer@yahoo.co.uk


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News
Tue 5 Oct 2010, 17:44 BST
Issue No. 2222
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