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Bus campaign prepares support for striking drivers
SHEFFIELD'S "WE Want Our Buses Back" campaign is preparing to support bus drivers as they are get ready to strike over a 1.8% pay offer from a company (First) that increased fares by nearly 50% last year.
Calvin Payne, Sheffield
So far this year there have been no further fare rises after the public reaction to the massive increases last year, which led to the formation of our campaign.
The Labour council, the local Lib Dems as well as the Green Party are all united in a policy of pressuring the government to allow a system of partial regulation, like that in London.
But almost everyone that we meet on our activities realise only too well that privatisation and de-regulation must be reversed and not just tinkered with.
Members of the campaign attended a meeting hosted by leaders of the South Yorkshire Public Transport Executive (SYPTE) last week and listened to presentations from the people who could make decisions about fares and routes if the council gets its way. We heard our public transport representatives extol the virtues of car-owning and defend the private operators!
The meeting congratulated its secretary on receiving an MBE and passed a motion of thanks and best wishes to the outgoing boss of First South Yorkshire (forced out by public demonstrations and anger at fare rises).
So we, at least, are under no illusions about whose side the SYPTE are on! The highlight of the secretary's comments were when she declared that she believed in creating 'First Class' sections on buses to attract the well-off to public transport(!)
Suggestions from our members that there should be lower fares for low-paid workers and the unemployed were ignored.
The meeting pushed the campaign to greater efforts to create the public pressure to force local and national politicians to re-regulate the buses.
We are preparing massive support for the striking workers against the bosses and fat-cats of First Mainline.
In The Socialist 6 July 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party workplace news