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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 September 2011

Bus workers force management climb-down

Unite members

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

Fast news


Socialist history

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


 

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Related links:

Birmingham:

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Role of the community and voluntary sector

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Sport and Coronavirus

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Was the Coronavirus pandemic inevitable?

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triangleTransport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

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Wolverhampton:

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