Go North East bus workers to strike

Go North East bus workers forced to strike in battle to prevent Chester-le-Street garage closure

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Bus workers employed by Go North East at its Chester-Le-Street garage in Durham, will begin strike action later this month as a direct response to the company’s plan to close the depot.

The industrial action will involve 170 members of Unite. The all out continuous strike action will begin on Friday, August 12.

The strike action has been called due to the company’s plans to close the Chester-le Street garage next month and permanently move the workers to different depots, some of which are 14 miles away.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Unite’s members are making a stand for the local community. The closure of the Chester-le-Street depot threatens the employment of bus workers and will damage the quality of bus services to local areas.

“Go North East needs to withdraw its poorly thought out closure plans and enter into meaningful negotiations with Unite to ensure an improved service can be implemented,” she added.

“Our members at Go North East will receive Unite’s total support until this dispute is resolved.”

While the company has said that driver and engineers will be transferred to other depots, no assurances for continued employment have been provided to the cleaners and the admin staff at the depot.

The proposed closure of the Chester-Le- Street depot coincides with the company’s plans to cut routes in the region, which will drastically reduce regional connectivity.

Unite regional coordinating officer Mark Sanderson said, “Strike action will inevitably cause disruption to bus passengers in the local area in the short–term but the long-term consequences of closing the Chester-le-Street depot are far greater.

“Go North East must return now to the negotiating table and enter into a full and meaningful consultation with Unite about the future of the depot.”

By Barckley Sumner

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