Bus drivers and engineers at Brighton and Hove buses and its subsidiary Metrobus in Crawley have overwhelmingly backed taking industrial action in a dispute over an increasingly ‘draconian’ management style, which has led to accusations of bullying, intimidation and the use of covert surveillance by managers on workers.
The members of Britain’s biggest union, Unite voted by 71.4 per cent in favour of strike action with 83.3 per cent backing industrial action short of a strike.
Once heralded as a model employer, matters deteriorated at Brighton and Hove buses after the introduction of a new hard line management team following the retirement of the previous managing director.
With the company facing an exodus of bus drivers and engineers and a resulting deterioration in customer service, Unite urged bus managers to stop paying lip service to good industrial relations and commit to working with the union to change the ‘culture of fear’ at the company.
Commenting Unite regional officer Janet Henney said: “People used to love working at Brighton and Hove buses and it used to be held up as local model of good employment.
“This simply is not the case anymore with many of our members dreading going into work. They have had enough of being bullied, intimidated and spied on when on sick leave and want to see an end to the ‘Draconian’ management style which has created a culture of fear.
“Our members take great pride in keeping Brighton, Hove and Crawley on the move, but as the overwhelming backing for industrial action shows, have reached the end of line.
“Unite urges senior management to stop paying lip service to good industrial relations and start making the firm the model employer it was once again. Otherwise our members will be left with little option, but to give up a day’s pay and go on strike.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.