Manchester bus strikers huge victory!

Go North West bus strikers celebrate their victory over ‘fire and rehire’. Photo credit: NEIL TERRY

‘THIS MUST be the end of “fire and rehire”. We now have a collectively bargained agreement,’ Unite NW-54 Branches Communities Rep Sam Harvey told News Line yesterday at a rally to celebrate the bus drivers huge victory outside Manchester’s Queen’s Road Bus Depot after winning their indefinite strike.

‘This is a massive victory for the striking bus strikers, for Unite the union, and for every working class person.
‘It goes to show that, if you stand together and have the determination, you can make an industrial giant concede.’
He continued: ‘Under “fire and rehire” we were sacked from our contract of employment – and they were going to bring in an inferior one.
‘Those contracts have now been torn up, and a new one agreed with the trade union.
‘The ballot result – an agreement by 75.8% of the drivers with just 21.5% against – means that a new contract will be
‘It has been the longest British bus strike in history.
‘We have been out for 80 days.
‘It has taken us 80 days to get the Go North West bus company to concede.
‘Our victory shows to every other worker that if you stand together you can defeat “fire and rehire”.
‘We have had guidance and support from the Unite regional team and it was this team, lead by Sharon Graham, that forced the company through leverage to come to an agreement with us.
‘The striking bus drivers at Queens Road, members of NW-54, have stood solid on the picket line for 80 days.
‘Our members should be immensely proud of what they have achieved.
‘You have shown the UK and the rest of the world what can be done when you stand together and fight.’
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: ‘We’re delighted to have secured a clear commitment from the Go North West Group that “fire and rehire” will never be used by them, bringing relief to thousands of workers who feared that they were next.’
He added: ‘The government itself has described “fire and rehire” as a “bully boy practice” but the only way to guarantee UK workers are protected from this pernicious practice that’s ripping through our workplaces is for the government to follow the lead of other European countries and ban it once and for all.’

  • Bosses at JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) in Banbury, Oxfordshire are accused by the Unite union of ‘carrying out covert surveillance of workers and their families’ protesting at the company’s “fire and rehire” plans’ in breach of data protection legislation.

Unite has called for the company to carry out a full investigation after it was alleged that ‘managers filmed and photographed workers, their partners and children’ at the third weekend demo on Saturday (15 May) outside the Ruscote Avenue plant. The union is also requesting the films and photographs be handed over.
Unite says it fears individuals are being identified for future ‘blacklisting’ and that GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation to protect privacy) was breached, especially when families with children were in attendance who were not members of the workforce.
The union dismissed claims from JDE that the filming was in response to alleged intimidatory behaviour by protesters as ‘spurious and totally unfounded’.
A 72 hour strike is scheduled to start at 06.00 on Wednesday 26 May running until 07.00 on Saturday 29 May.