Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/309/12612

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 July 2003

Devon Bus Workers Fight Low Pay

ON 8 July rail and transport union (RMT) members working for bus company Stagecoach Devon took the first of a series of one-day strikes.

The turnout was immense - in Exeter only four drivers turned up to work, by lunchtime this had been reduced to three, as one of the four abandoned his vehicle to join the union and the strike.

Steve Bush, Devon

Across Devon about 700 RMT members were on strike. The mood on the 150-strong picket lines in Exeter was determined.

The drivers' demands are modest - they want an increase from 5.93 an hour to 6.50 for drivers, with an equivalent increase for all other Stagecoach Devon staff. Crucially they demand this without any further attacks on working conditions.

Stagecoach Devon Manager Chris Hilditch is making much of his 'offer' to drivers of 7 an hour - but this 'increase' with all the strings attached would mean an average decrease in pay for drivers of 6 a week, as well as a decrease in staffing levels.

Stagecoach took over the Devon Bus services a few years ago, promising better services and better conditions for staff.

In their first year they asked staff to forego a wage increase in order to invest in the run-down bus fleet.

The workers agreed, on the understanding that when profitability came, they would share in it. As Stagecoach employees all over Britain have found, this was a lie.

Stagecoach Devon are making obscene profits - 2 million last year alone but employees have seen little but attacks on their working conditions.

Drivers receive no time off in lieu of wages for working weekends or unsociable hours, they receive no overtime, just a flat rate.

They are expected to carry out an unpaid half-hour vehicle inspection before they start driving. As one driver put it: "They want a 21st century bus service with 19th century pay and conditions."

On the first strike day, managers who hadn't driven for years took to the wheel, along with scabs from other Stagecoach areas - who were paid 15 an hour with their travel and accommodation at 70 a night provided.

With no vehicle safety checks and hardly any training, the results were both dangerous and farcical. Buses consistently broke the 5mph speed limit in and out of the depot with lights and indicators not working.

One scab reversed a bus into the managing director's car. A bus demolished part of the historic Bickleigh bridge and the engineering manager got a ticket for driving a bus with a defective tyre in Exeter High Street.

Public support for the strike is huge. Most of the travelling public are fed up with Stagecoach's appalling service and support the drivers' modest demands. Hundreds signed petitions on the first strike day.

Socialist Party members were warmly received on the picket lines. We hope this determined action will win an important victory against low pay in the South West. Strikes are continuing on 15,17,21,23 and 25 July.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 19 July 2003:

Tony Blair: Time To Go!

Devon Bus Workers Fight Low Pay

Right Wing Booed Out Of PCS Leadership

Say No To Poverty Wages

Iraq Watch:

Whipps Cross hospital workers: "Where we fight, we win"

Asylum Seekers Fear Repression

Kirklees Nursery nurses: United Action Gave Us Confidence

Fight For Trade Union Rights In Colombia


Socialist Party features

Low Pay - No Way!

Reclaiming Feminism?

Weapons of mass destruction: A Web Of Lies From Day One

Gay Rights Aren't Only For Bishops

Genetic engineering: Science And Big Business


International socialist news and analysis

Kazakhstan: Foundry workers fight for nationalisation of factory

Africa in Crisis: Development reversed by Capitalism

"Stop The Reform Or We Will Stop The Country"


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 July 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Bus workers:

triangleTransport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

triangleHackney school bus workers win pay increase following strikes

triangleUnions must fight to make bus drivers and passengers safe

triangleThe NSSN in Brighton lobbying the TUC, 8.9.19. A report will be posted soon. photo by Mary Finch

triangleStagecoach strike - bus workers show how it's done

Pay:

triangleReaders' opinion

trianglesocialism2020

triangleTower Hamlets council strike

triangleChange in leadership needed to secure union's future

Low pay:

triangle6.5 million working poor: Fight to end low pay

triangleLow Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

triangleCleaners strike over low pay at Haringey secondary school

Devon:

triangleSouth Devon Socialist Party: End of the Corbyn era - What next for socialism?

triangleExeter and S. Devon Socialist Party: Fighting for Corbyn's socialist policies

Stagecoach:

triangleVictory for Stagecoach bus strikers!

Drivers:

triangleFight continues for safety on London buses

Strike:

triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

1/7/20

Fighting Fund

Fighting Fund: Target smashed by half time

1/7/20

Equity

Equity union president elections: re-elect Maureen

1/7/20

PCS

Change in leadership needed to secure union's future

1/7/20

Black Lives Matter

BLM has not stopped - protesters flock to Socialists

1/7/20

Ken Douglas

Red flags line road for Ken

1/7/20

Leeds

Leeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

1/7/20

Socialist

socialism2020

1/7/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

1/7/20

Cardiff

Cardiff community fights nursery closure: Council must step in

1/7/20

NSSN

Come to the NSSN conference

1/7/20

Sunday trading

Sunday trading: Government blinks first

1/7/20

Equity

Equity: Solidarity with Maxine Peake

1/7/20

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets council strike

1/7/20

Ministry of Justice

MoJ cleaners' covid outbreak

26/6/20

Ken Douglas

Memorial funds for Ken Douglas and Mick Cotter

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999