Socialist Worker

Bus workers battle to defend Upton Park depot

Issue No. 2257

Stagecoach bosses are threatening to shut down Upton Park bus depot in east London.

Adam Powell, a Unite union rep at the depot, told Socialist Worker, “They are going to move us to the new West Ham depot to cut costs.

“But we have found out that the only route not being transferred to West Ham is the route all the reps drive.

“So to many people this seems like an attempt to smash our union.”

The West Ham depot houses around 500 drivers. The addition of a further 300 from Upton Park would make it a powerful workplace.

Upton Park has a reputation for being a militant depot. The last thing management wants is for militants to be based there.

“Management have said there will be no compulsory redundancies, but people are worried,” said Adam.

“It will take some of us longer to travel to work and will be more expensive. There is nowhere for us to park our cars, which is important for people working on a late shift.”

Workers are also worried about meal breaks. Current routes are close to the depot, so workers can get back to eat.

Now they will be forced to stop at remote locations, even the roadside.

“Moving further away from the area means the service will be more susceptible to delays too,” Adam added.

A mass meeting organised by the drivers’ Unite union was being held to discuss the closure as Socialist Worker went to press.

Dundee drivers ballot for strike

Drivers at National Express in Dundee are holding an indicative ballot for a strike over changes to their conditions and the suspension of two of their Unite union branch reps. It follows an unofficial walkout in May after bosses announced plans to increase drivers’ hours without extra pay.

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Article information

Tue 21 Jun 2011, 18:00 BST
Issue No. 2257
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