Chester-le-Street Go North East workers strike ballot over plans to close towns bus depot

‘Prevailing mood’ for strike action over proposals that risk jobs and services and will damage towns economy 

A consultative ballot of 170 workers recorded a 95 per cent vote in favour of striking over the proposals. A formal industrial action ballot opened last Friday (15 July) and closes on 28 July. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: The prevailing mood of workers at the Chester-Le-Street depot is definitely for strike action and Unite will back them all the way. This should serve as a warning to the company to scrap these damaging and poorly thought-out plans, which will severely impact on its workers and the town.”

The Chester-le-Street bus depot first opened in 1913 and currently holds 78 vehicles and employs around 200 staff. 

Drivers and engineers have been told by Go North East that they will be moved to other depots, which are located up to 14 miles away. 

While drivers and engineers have been told they will not lose their jobs if they relocate, the depots cleaners, admin staff and other workers have had no such guarantees. 

Despite assurances from Go North East that services will not be impacted if the depot is closed, the company is cutting routes across the region.

The plans have also been slammed by local businesses who say bus workers make up much of their trade.

Unite regional coordinating officer Mark Sanderson said: These plans are all about Go North East chasing short term profits at the expense of long term sustainability and service provision, which investment in a new depot would bring. 

Closing the depot will hurt our members’ jobs and working conditions, as well as damaging community services and the local economy. Our members have the support of the town in opposing the closure. Go North East needs to drop these plans before this dispute escalates into strike action.”


For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Instagram: unitetheunion


Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.