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Hundreds of Manchester bus drivers to strike in disput...

Hundreds of Manchester bus drivers to strike in dispute over collective bargaining breaches

23 May 2016

Hundreds of bus drivers, members of Unite, Britain’s largest union, working for First Manchester Ltd will stage a one day strike on Tuesday 24 May over a series of serious breaches of longstanding industrial agreements. 

Unite, which represents over 700 members working out of the Oldham and Queens Road depots, has accused the company of not honouring the collective bargaining agreement it entered into with workers and breaching the 2012 pay agreement. 

The union’s members voted overwhelmingly for strike action after the company pushed through changes to conditions without negotiation in breach of the agreements.

Attempts to resolve the dispute collapsed when the company failed to live up to its commitments, despite talks taking place over a year ago under the auspices of Acas, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s walk out, Unite regional officer Neil Clarke said: “It is with a heavy heart that our members have been left with no option but to strike. We regret any inconvenience and disruption caused to passengers, but they cannot and will not sit by and let their hard fought for agreements be trashed. 

“All the issues in this dispute could easily be resolved by the senior management and at no financial cost to the business. This is not a question of ability, but of a willingness to honour commitments and agreements that the company have signed up to. 

“The conduct of the management team is in stark contrast to the so-called ‘people values’ rhetoric that it espouses and incorporates into the company’s ‘vision and values’ publications.

“The message to the management is plain and simple: the agreements and procedures that all have signed up to must be honoured, adhered to and viewed as binding and not discretionary. 

“Unite has acted with integrity and honour throughout and management must do likewise, starting with the reversal of the existing breaches and the re-instatement of provisions that existed prior to the breaches occurring.”

ENDS

For more information please contact, Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774146777 

Note 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