Socialist Worker

Stagecoach strikes solid

Issue No. 1699

Bus workers

Stagecoach strikes solid

BUS WORKERS at two different Stagecoach firms held solid one-day strikes on Wednesday of last week. It is the second time Stagecoach workers in east Kent and Lancashire have held a strike on the same day.

Around 700 workers at Ribblebus in Lancashire joined the strike to demand a decent pay rise. The workers, members of the TGWU union, challenged the managers and inspectors brought by Stagecoach from around the country to drive scab buses.

Some of the scab buses at the Burnley depot were driven at speed towards the pickets, who forced them to stop. It was at a picket at the Blackburn depot that bus driver Frank Dean was killed by a scab bus during a dispute two years ago.

In east Kent, Stagecoach drivers were also on the picket lines on Wednesday. Their dispute is over working conditions. They are protesting at split shift working which means they face at least a three hour gap between shifts when they cannot return home.

In Margate the workers don't even have somewhere they can eat their lunch. Union reps at Stagecoach were due to meet on Thursday of this week to discuss escalating the action to two days a week.


London

BUS WORKERS at London General's Stockwell garage in south London have delivered a stinging blow to their bosses' plan for a four day working week.

The workers, members of the TGWU, voted by 160 to nil to reject the proposal that would mean already low paid drivers losing a substantial amount of money.

Other depots in the group are also balloting-Merton, Waterloo and Sutton.

If this kind of result is repeated, the bosses will be under pressure to

retreat.

London General management is trying to use the problem of a shortage of drivers to ram through casualisation and part time working.

But, as one Stockwell driver says, "the union is taking a hard line against the company's plan. There's a bit of a buzz around. People feel that since Ken Livingstone got elected, with the issue of public transport at the heart of his campaign, things should start to change for the better."

Livingstone's new transport taskforce is set for talks with London Transport, which runs the franchises in London.

The taskforce members include several TGWU officials who want to win back old pension rights, a single uniform and the London weighting payment for bus drivers.

These were taken away when the Tories privatised the industry.


Aberdeen

SOME 200 Aberdeen bus workers, including drivers, mechanics, admin staff and others, attended union meetings last Friday to discuss First Aberdeen�s latest pay offer.

First Aberdeen is part of the giant First Group, which recently announced profits of �142 million.

But it is offering Aberdeen staff a take it or leave it offer of 3 percent.

This insult was unanimously rejected and workers called for action up to and including strike action in order to fight back.

Bus workers' pay has taken a serious nosedive since privatisation while the fat cats continue to rake it in at our expense.

Chief executive Moir Lockhead more than doubled his salary to over �250,000 a year after the company�s merger with Badgerline.

This pay rise was due on 1 April. How long do they expect us to wait?


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

News
Sat 3 Jun 2000, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1699
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.