Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/686/12831
From The Socialist newspaper, 21 September 2011
Bus workers force management climb-down
During August, National Express West Midlands (NXWM) bosses informed drivers at its nine garages that practically all local agreements would be torn up from 25 September.
This would involve, among other things, getting rid of paid breaks, travelling time and scrapping shorter shifts on Sundays.
This follows the last pay deal, which centred on a way-below-inflation 2% a year for two years pay increase, which was accepted on the understanding that local agreements would be left alone.
NXWM is one of the biggest bus operators in the country with operations stretching from Coventry to Wolverhampton and employs around 3,750 drivers.
For certain drivers these planned changes would mean three to four hours extra work during some weeks, for no extra pay.
However to their credit the Unite union Traffic Negotiating Committee immediately organised garage meetings which attracted very sizable turnouts of drivers who reacted with horror and anger at the management's plans and voted overwhelmingly for strike action.
The company immediately backed down and informed the union at a meeting on 25 August that following the reaction of the drivers the changes were now off the table, although they still intend to somehow make over £20 million of savings.
An additional 'bonus' is the recent shock resignation of NXWM unpopular managing director, Dave Kaye, for 'personal reasons'.
During his time at the company fares have risen by 9.5% with services cut by 3%, while according to the Birmingham Mail profits have soared to over £80,000 a day! After less than a year in the job surely these 'personal reasons' don't have anything to do with promising to take on the drivers and ending up walking away with his tail between his legs?
This episode has proved decisively to drivers the power that we hold in our hands and the importance of being organised.
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In The Socialist 21 September 2011:
Building for 30 November strike
We won't pay for the bankers' crisis!
30 November - the fight of all our lives
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Gloucestershire: Rage ignites against NHS privatisation
12th hour reprieve for Dale Farm
Protest at Lib Dem conference
Socialist Party news and analysis
Wales mine deaths: Privatisation comes under the spotlight
Private rail companies - a licence to print money
Poplar 1921: 'Better to break the law than break the poor'
Socialist Party feature
2011 Labour Party conference - a debate: Can Labour be reclaimed?
International socialist news and analysis
Kazakhstan: Dictatorial regime threatens socialist activists
Floods devastate Sindh: Crisis worsens, hundreds killed
Socialist Party youth and students
Don't let the Con-Dems steal our future!
Save Devon youth service: "time for young people to stand up"
Jobs, homes and services, not racism
University - pay more, receive less
Youth protest movement grows in Israel
Socialist Party workplace news
Southampton council workers vote for more action
Remploy workers "will not go gently" - or at all!
Expelled from Unison for effective anti-cuts leadership
Bus workers force management climb-down
Protesting construction workers call for national strike ballot
Recognition won back - at a price
Workplace news In Brief
The Socialist 21 September 2011 |
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