Picket line at 'Go North West', Manchester. Photo: Unite North West

Picket line at ‘Go North West’, Manchester. Photo: Unite North West   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

As we got to press, bus drivers at Go North West in Manchester have defeated attempts to fire and rehire them, agreeing a deal which will end one of the country’s longest-running industrial disputes.

The deal was presented to a mass meeting of the drivers, members of Unite, on 17 May at the company’s Queens Road depot. This was followed by a workplace ballot, where members voted overwhelmingly to accept the negotiated agreement, bringing to a close the 85-day strike.

The company has agreed to demands that it will never use ‘fire and rehire’ in any form, and the drivers now no longer stand to lose thousands of pounds in wages every year.

The drivers began all-out, continuous strike action on 28 February.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey says: “This is a tremendous victory by Unite’s members at Go North West who through their dedication, solidarity and commitment have defeated the attempt to fire and rehire them.

“This dispute should also send a clear and unequivocal message to all employers that Unite will never accept fire and rehire for our members – that we will do everything in our power to prevent it, and we will win.”