Socialist Worker

Manchester all-out bus strike in fifth week

by Sam Ord
Issue No. 2748

Fire and rehire has to be ebaten

Fire and rehire has to be beaten (Pic: Unite North West)


Over 400 bus workers at Go North West in Manchester started their fifth week of an all-out strike on Sunday. The Unite union members are battling fire and rehire proposals.

Last week, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham announced that the region’s buses will be returned to local authority regulation.

But similarly to London’s transport system, buses will continue to be operated by private companies.

However the reform will give local authorities complete control of fares, routes and scheduling.

The power to re-regulate was passed by an act of 2017. As early as January 2018 Burnham was saying, “Buses are going to change in Greater Manchester—no doubt.”

Time

Three years later some change is coming—although not for some time. The first services are planned in 2023 for Wigan and Bolton. And all routes will be under the city’s control by 2025, Burnham said.

Privatised bus firms are angry. Stagecoach has applied for a judicial review of the proposals.

Burnham’s plans falls short of councils establishing their own publicly-owned bus companies. Though no longer allowed by government, councils should fight for it.

Messages of support via: [email protected] and [email protected] Cheques should be made payable to “Unite NW 4/5 branch” sent to: Pat Gleave (Branch Secretary), c/o Unite branch: NW5/4, Quayside House, Salford Quays, M50 3SU. Donations via BACS transfer: Reference: STRIKE2021, TGWU Queen’s Road, 60-83-01 20256669


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