OVER TWO hundred bus drivers in York were set to strike on Wednesday of this week. Last week their first planned strike was called off while management negotiated a deal with the union.
Managers wrote to union reps threatening them with legal action under the anti-union laws if they took strike action.
But the workers voted to reject the deal that would have given them £7.60 an hour by April 2005. Instead they are demanding £8 an hour, bringing them into line with other bus drivers around the country. Bus workers employed by Arriva in Liverpool also plan a series of one-day strikes over conditions at work starting from this Monday.
These are the latest groups of bus workers to take action following strikes in Portsmouth, Devon and South Yorkshire. Workers in Liverpool are angry about attacks on pay and conditions that have taken place since bus services were deregulated.
The 300-plus TGWU transport union members have had enough of a series of aggressive actions by management. Some two thirds of workers voted to strike in an official ballot.
One Arriva worker in Bootle told Socialist Worker, 'We've had enough. Managers were having a go about people being a few minutes late. 'People were being threatened with possible suspension for Mickey Mouse stuff like answering bosses back.'
Talks have been held between TGWU officials and Arriva management. Workers say that if they were treated with respect by management there would not be a problem. Further talks were due to take place this week.