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From: The Socialist issue 1121, 17 February 2021: 'If you want to stay healthy - you've got to fight back!'

Search site for keywords: Bus - Strike - Manchester - Drivers - Pay

Manchester Go North West bus drivers in all-out strike over fire and rehire dispute

Bus, photo Ad Meskens/C

Bus, photo Ad Meskens/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Bus drivers employed by Go North West in Manchester will begin an all-out continuous strike from 28 February. The company is trying to fire and rehire its workers on vastly inferior contracts.

The 400 workers, who are members of Unite, returned an 82% 'yes' vote in favour of strike action.

If Go North West's fire-and-rehire proposals are implemented it will result in:

Go North West's parent company, Go Ahead, is hugely profitable. Its most recent accounts reveal it earned 1 billion from its bus division, with an operating profit of 121 million. The company paid dividends to shareholders, worth 102.80p per share.

Unite regional secretary Ritchie James said: "Unite gave Go North West the opportunity to withdraw its fire-and-rehire plans following the overwhelming vote for strike action, sadly it spurned this opportunity.

"If Go Ahead were allowed to implement its fire-and-rehire policies it would result in our members, who have been in the frontline since the pandemic began, having to work longer for far less money.

In the run-up to the strike, in an attempt to bully and intimidate workers, Go North West managers delivered letters to drivers' homes informing them that they had just eight days to accept the new contracts or be dismissed on 8 May.

The Socialist Party calls for an end to fire and rehire, no pay cut for drivers and renationalisation of bus services.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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Article dated 17 February 2021

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Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

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