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.
‘Stay strong, stay determined and stay out on strike’ – activists turn out for Manchester’s bus drivers
Activists attended the picket lines at Queens Road Depot in north Manchester to show solidarity with Go North West bus drivers, as Unite the Union announced new leverage campaign aimed at increasing pressure on Go Ahead Group to return to the negotiating table.
Andy Burnham slams Go North West bosses, promising that bus franchising will be ‘no race to the bottom’
Fire and re-hire has no place in Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said. Standing for re-election as Greater Manchester Mayor, on Wednesday he slammed the bosses of Go North West, currently in a ‘fire and re-hire’ dispute with bus drivers. Mayor Andy Burnham said: “I do not believe that the way in which this has been […]
The metro mayor said the “deregulated” bus network had “not been driven by the needs of our communities, but by bus operators’ responsibilities to their shareholders to make a profit… We can only change that and hold the decline if we bring the buses back under the control of the public.”
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.
Unite leader Len McCluskey warns Go North West parent company Go Ahead Group it risks industrial action if it continues with plans to “fire and rehire” nearly 500 Manchester bus drivers, which would see each driver lose an estimated £2,000 a year.
Around 500 Manchester bus drivers will hold a consultative ballot on whether to take industrial action, after employer Go North West Limited suspended a senior Unite representative for carrying out trade union activities.