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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 June 2019
Bluestar bus drivers strike over pay
Bluestar bus drivers on strike in Southampton, supported by RMT general secretary candidate Sean Hoyle, 18.6.19, photo by Nick Chaffey (Click to enlarge)
Bus drivers at Bluestar in Southampton were out in force at Totton and Eastleigh bus depots on 18 June, angry at their pay and working conditions.
The drivers, members of the RMT transport union, are employed on 40-hour contracts and are expected to drive for 59 hours with no overtime rates for anti-social hours. Strikers know that the 3% increase offer is not a lot on a wage that's not a lot - just £11.13 an hour - for the work they do looking after the travelling public.
Not that Bluestar cares about its passengers either. Drivers explained to us how many passengers support the strike because buses are so frequently cancelled. This is because Bluestar doesn't employ enough drivers.
In negotiations Bluestar management says there is only a limited budget for pay, but not when it comes to trying to break this strike, with strikebreaking drivers paid £250 a day and put up in hotels overnight.
Strikers were buoyant after the solid support for the strike action, backing from their passengers and lots of support from City Bus and Xela drivers who drove past the protest outside Bluestar offices.
If no agreement is reached then an overtime ban will begin on 1 July which will show management the reality of their understaffed service.
Southampton Socialist Party
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In The Socialist 19 June 2019:
What we think
While the Tories elect a new leader - prepare action to remove the lot of them
Welsh government must block NHS privatisation or face workers' action
Council cuts continue while reserves rise
Cancer stats reveal deep inequality
Them & Us
Stop climate change - fight for socialist change
What way forward to tackle climate change?
Trade union action can end low pay
Schools unions must turn anger into a fight against funding catastrophe
Unite must be at the head of fighting for a general election and against council cuts
South Western Railway staff strike for safety
Ford Bridgend workers vote to fight to save threatened plant
Bluestar bus drivers' strike over pay
East London bin workers call 12-day strike over wage grades
Swansea Parcelforce workers picket depot in support of victimised rep
Harrogate academy workers strike against closure
International socialist news and analysis
Chinese regime's puppet government in Hong Kong pushed back by mass protests
Sudan: The revolution under threat
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Angry Barking residents' meeting demands answers and action following fire
Orgreave injustice - 35th anniversary march and rally
Oppose big business's sphere of influence!
Young Socialists - re-establishing Rhondda's fighting traditions
North Shields: second march and rally to #SaveOurBridge
Newton Abbot says no to Tory privatisation of the NHS!
Worcester: Building on our successful library campaign
Defend free TV licences for over-75s!
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