After 85 days on strike, Manchester’s bus drivers have forced corporate giant Go Ahead to abandon its plans to fire and rehire almost 500 workers – it’s a victory not only for them, but for workers across the country.
‘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.”
“On balance, it is in the public interest to make the proposed franchising scheme,” TfGM chief executive Eamonn Boylan told GM council leaders, as they gave the green light on re-franchising the city region’s buses.
Andy Burnham will now make the final decision on introducing a London-style franchise system.
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.
Maintenance staff at Manchester’s Longsight train depot have walked out and are set for multiple 24 hour strikes across December over an international pay freeze imposed by train manufacturer Alstom.
Bringing buses under public control is ‘better value for money’ for the city region in spite of ‘severe’ impact of Covid-19 on bus patronage and revenues, Greater Manchester leaders hear at a meeting this week.