The deal agreed between Unite and Go North West contains several key victories for the drivers, including a pledge from both Go North West and its parent company Go Ahead Group not to use fire and rehire tactics in future.
The picket line outside Queens Road Depot exhibits camaraderie, community and the carnivalesque. Solidarity is undoubtedly strong in the communities supporting the bus drivers in their ‘fire and rehire’ industrial dispute with Go North West.
Andy Burnham met Go North West bosses last week to discuss service disruption.
While careful to distinguish the industrial dispute between GNW and its drivers from other instances of ‘fire and rehire’ practices, the mayor says issuing Section 188 notices to renegotiate workers’ employment contracts is tantamount to ‘industrial blackmail’.
Bus drivers in Manchester employed by Go North West voted 82% in favour of taking industrial action against the bus company for its ‘fire and rehire’ practices, on a 77% turnout.
Unite, represents the drivers, stressed there was still time for Go North West bosses to return to the negotiating table.
Unite will ballot 485 bus drivers on strike action if Go North West does not return to the negotiating table. The decision to consider balloting was made in response to the bus company announcing it will no longer negotiate with the union and will instead consult drivers individually.