Bus drivers at Go North West in Manchester have voted overwhelmingly to strike — by 82 per cent — in a a fire and rehire dispute that has dragged on for months.
Under the new contracts, drivers will be forced to work longer hours for no extra pay, which will leave them £2,500 a year worse off. They’ll also lose their sickness agreement — an outrageous move for key workers who have worked throughout the pandemic — and suffer a 10 per cent cut in driver numbers.
After 10 months of talks, the company walked away, prompting the ballot, and then strong yes vote.
A number of celebrities, including actors John Henshaw, James Quinn and Maxine Peake, have spoken out in support of the bus drivers’ cause, calling on the company to come to the table and negotiate.
Watch in the video below, where John Henshaw — best known for his roles as Ken Dixon ,the landlord in Early Doors, Wilf Bradshaw in Born and Bred and PC Roy Bramwell in The Cops — sends a message of support to the bus drivers:
James Quinn, of Coronation Street fame, likewise sends a message of solidarity, urging the bus drivers to ‘stay safe, stay strong and stay together’.
Meanwhile, actor Maxine Peake — best known for her roles as Twinkle in Dinnerladies, Veronica Ball in Shameless, and barrister Martha Costello in the BBC legal drama Silk — said she was ‘appalled’ by management’s proposals. She said the bus drivers have her ‘utmost support’ in taking industrial action, adding that ‘solidarity is strength’.
With your help we can keep the pressure on. Please join us in calling on the CEO of the Go Ahead group David Brown to act. He’s the top chief of the entire group and our best bet of getting the company to take fire and rehire off the table and get them back around the negotiating table.
You can email Mr Brown through our petition here.
By UniteLive team