'Respect the driver' call

Norfolk bus drivers demand end to exhaustion and fatigue

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Bus drivers employed by Konectbus will stage a protest tomorrow (March 10) with their union Unite, to demand action to put an end to the long hours culture of 14 hour days and short breaks, causing fatigue and exhaustion.


Unite is calling on Konectbus management to enter into meaningful negotiations on working hours, and to reach an agreement to secure union representation for the workforce.


Konectbus provide essential links to many locations throughout Norfolk from local towns and villages including Dereham, Watton, Wymondham, Norwich and King’s Lynn.


Many drivers work 14 hour days, often driving for five and a half hours before getting just the legal minimum break of 30 minutes. Unite has been calling on Konectbus for many months to work with the union to address long hours. Some workers have reported that the long hours culture has been taking a toll on their physical and mental health, as well as their work life balance.


Konectbus is owned by the Go Ahead Group PLC which had a turnover of £3.8 billion last year with profits after tax of £75.1 million.


Unite regional officer, Mark Walker said, “Hardworking bus drivers providing an essential service to the people of Norfolk face long hours behind the wheel with very short breaks.


“This protest is taking place because it’s time for Konectbus to respect the driver and address the problems of fatigue and exhaustion. Unite is determined to give our members at Konectbus a voice at work so they can improve their working conditions,” he added.


“Konect’s parent company Go Ahead made £75.1 million last year, so clearly the funds are available to invest in better working conditions for staff. It’s time for the company to sit down with the union to agree union recognition and negotiate working time which respects the driver and is in the interests of passengers.”


The ‘Respect the Driver’ protest will be held on Tuesday (March 10) from noon at Norwich Bus Station, Queens Road, Norwich, NR1 3GX


Unite is a union that campaigns for and delivers better pay and conditions for its members. Unite is winning at work based on three core values. Secure Work: fighting for jobs and job security, Strong Voice: a union which is a respected voice at work and Decent Pay: a union focused on pay and conditions.


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