Bosses at Yellow Buses have dropped all charges against a Unite convenor and bus driver who was wrongly dragged through an unnecessary disciplinary process after being assaulted by a passenger.

Unite has called off its ballot for industrial action at the Bournemouth bus company. Hundreds of bus workers had demanded a strike ballot to hold bosses to account for attempting to sack their senior union representative. Martin Conder, 52, was put on a final written warning, but on Friday (15 November) the company rescinded all charges against the senior convenor.

Unite regional officer Janet Wall said: “I am pleased to announce that following the appeal meeting, the company agreed the sanction was excessive and dropped all charges. Martin Conder is a well-respected union representative with an unblemished record. This whole debacle could have easily been avoided because Martin had done nothing wrong. His name has been cleared and the industrial action ballot has been called off.

“Unite will always robustly defend our union representatives against mistreatment by bosses. We are pleased that we can now move on and our members can get back to business as usual for the residents of Bournemouth.”

Yellow Buses carries just under 15 million passengers a year on its fleet of 140 buses across Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset.


Notes to editors:

A well respected shop steward Martin Conder, 52, with 13 years unblemished service was assaulted by a passenger whilst driving the 1a bus on 7 October to Bournemouth. Another passenger came to Martin’s aid and the instigator was removed from the bus and left on the street.

There were no complaints from passengers and Mr Conder followed procedure and reported the incident to management at Yellow Buses. Astonishingly, management then tried to sack Martin. They failed but the senior union representative was given a final written warning. Mr Conder sought advice from the police. He was told he had done the right thing but management pressed ahead with a disciplinary.

On Friday 15 November at a hearing with management all charges were dropped and Martin Conder has been cleared of all wrongdoing.

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.

For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.