Socialist Party
| Print

10 July 2019

Victory for Stagecoach bus strikers!

Dave Beale, Chair, Unite Lancs Community branch (personal capacity)

Union militancy pays! That's the immediate conclusion to be drawn from the magnificent and successful recent struggle of Unite Stagecoach bus workers in Central Lancashire.

Selected days of strike action in pursuit of a 50p per hour pay rise have been organised over several weeks by the Unite Stagecoach branch covering Preston and Chorley.

This has been provoked by Stagecoach's wage policy to pay different rates in its various companies across the North West and to rip off Preston and Chorley bus workers accordingly.

Stagecoach poured in vast amounts of money to try to break the strike, bringing in managers from all over the country to drive through picket lines.

In response, the pickets have been extremely well-attended and very determined, with extensive wider support from other Unite branches (including my own, Unite Lancs Community branch).

As Unite planned to crank up the action with extra strike days scheduled, cracks in the employer's facade appeared - and at the end of June, Stagecoach capitulated!

The company offer was a staggered pay increase from 10.85 to 11.30 per hour by April 2020. This was put to a ballot of Unite Stagecoach members in Preston and Chorley, with a recommendation to accept. Members have now accepted the offer unanimously.

This has been the most significant and determined strike in Central Lancashire for some years, with important wider implications.

The eventual goal of eliminating the pay differentials across Stagecoach-owned companies in the region could now become a credible union demand.

The success of the strike, which has been widely publicised locally and to some extent regionally, demonstrates to workers in both the bus and other sectors that decisive and well-organised industrial action can be worth the gamble and can force significant concessions from recalcitrant employers.

The wider political picture is relevant too. The framework for guaranteed decent pay and conditions nationwide in the bus sector could be secured by the reversal of Margaret Thatcher's bus deregulation and privatisation, and with fully-funded democratic public ownership of the sector.

This would be possible with the election of a Corbyn-led Labour government committed to socialist policies.

If it were linked also to the renationalisation of the rail industry, this would have the potential to provide a massively improved, integrated service to the public, as well opening up the possibility of a genuinely environmental national public transport policy.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 10 July 2019 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.




http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/29352




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

triangle23 Oct CWU vote for strike action will boost workers' confidence to fight...

triangle23 Oct Chile: An outpouring of rage against the capitalist system

triangle23 Oct Join us for a festival of ideas

triangle23 Oct Interview with Jared Wood - candidate for RMT union executive

triangle23 Oct General election is the real 'people's vote'

triangle16 Oct PCS union - A reply on political strategy

triangle16 Oct Mass united action against the war on Syrian Kurds

More ...

WHAT'S ON

triangle2 Nov Socialism 2019 - a weekend of discussion and debate


triangle23 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: Mass uprisings in Chile and Ecuador

triangle23 Oct Birmingham South West Socialist Party: Black History Month

triangle24 Oct Bristol South Socialist Party: Is the state neutral in society?

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: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999