Socialist Worker

Mass picket boosts Manchester bus strikers’ confidence

by Martin Empson
Issue No. 2585

The picket made sure buses did not leave the depot

The picket made sure buses did not leave the depot


Around 70 bus drivers and their supporters held a mass picket outside First Bus’ Rushholme depot in Manchester on Wednesday. It lifted strikers' spirits in what has been a long-running dispute—and worried management. 

For over 12 weeks, 70 drivers at the depot have been regularly striking over pay.

The Unite union members are fighting against pay differences with the First Bus depots across the city. 

These can see drivers at the Rushholme depot earn as much as £5,000 a year less. 

The picket was called by Manchester and Trafford Momentum and follows a solidarity social for strikers organised by Unite the Resistance. 

Delegations from several workplaces joined the picket. They included CWU union postal workers from as far away as Rochdale and PCS, Unison, Unite Community union members. 

A delegation of workers from the Mears housing workers strikers in North Manchester also joined the picket in solidarity. 

Supporters ensured that First Bus vehicles were not able to leave the depot for almost two hours, to management’s frustration.

Drivers’ union reps met management on Wednesday to discuss the dispute.

Further strikes are planned in the busy period up to Christmas on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 of December.


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

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