Socialist Worker

Bus workers fight back in Manchester and London

by Sam Ord
Issue No. 2747

The all-out strike remains solid

The all-out strike remains solid (Pic: Unite North West on Facebook)


Over 400 workers at Go North West in Greater Manchester remain on all‑out and indefinite strike.

They have been out since 28 February. At stake are bosses’ plans to fire and rehire its bus drivers on vastly inferior terms and conditions.

The Unite union members are also outraged at the ­company’s strike-breaking rogue service.

A union dossier detailed ­problems with the ­sub‑­contracted buses being operated by B and N Coaches, Connexions Buses, Edwards Coaches, Orion Travel, Red Rose, Selwyns, Swans, The Big Coach Company, The Travellers Choice and Tyrers Coaches.

Unite says, “The list of ­illegal activity was extensive and included overcrowding and ignoring reduced capacity rules to prevent Covid-19 transmissions.”

Unite regional secretary Ritchie James said, “It is no surprise that Covid-19 rates in Greater Manchester, which were already high, are increasing when buses that have been flouting the ­transmission rules have been in constant operation.”

Manchester mayor Andy Burnham should ­intervene to halt this dangerous operation.#

United

Meanwhile, London United bus drivers in west and south London struck last Wednesday over attacks on pay.

Drivers in the Unite union face pay cuts of up to £2,500 a year. Management at the RATP operating company is also threatening to introduce zero hour contracts.

David, a driver, at Park Royal, told Socialist Worker, “This pay cut comes at a time when they should be ­rewarding us.

Another worker added, “I just don’t understand how a company that profited £15 million can turn around and offer us nothing.

“Transport for London also gave London United extra money to deal with the ­pandemic. But the drivers haven’t seen any of it.”

Alongside this, RATP is pushing drivers to work longer hours for no extra pay.

“Management doesn’t tell us that our hours will go up, they just do it,’’ a picket said. “I worked a 12-hour shift ­yesterday and over 11 hours a couple of days before.”

London United drivers were due to be joined on the picket lines by two other RATP subsidiaries, Quality Line and London Sovereign.

But action was ­postponed after a new pay offer.

 

 

 

 


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