Manchester bus drivers on strike today

Manchester busHundreds of bus drivers in Manchester are today on strike over a series of serious breaches of longstanding industrial agreements.

Unite has accused First Manchester Ltd of not honouring the collective bargaining agreement they entered into with workers and breaching the 2012 pay agreement.

The union’s members voted overwhelmingly for strike action after the company pushed through changes to conditions without negotiation in breach of the agreements.

Attempts to resolve the dispute failed when the company failed to live up to its commitments, despite talks taking place over a year ago under the auspices of Acas, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

Unite regional officer Neil Clarke said: “It is with a heavy heart that our members have been left with no option but to strike. We regret any inconvenience and disruption caused to passengers, but they cannot and will not sit by and let their hard fought for agreements be trashed.

“All the issues in this dispute could easily be resolved by the senior management and at no financial cost to the business. This is not a question of ability, but of a willingness to honour commitments and agreements that the company have signed up to.

“The conduct of the management team is in stark contrast to the so-called ‘people values’ rhetoric that it espouses and incorporates into the company’s ‘vison and values’ publications.

“The message to the management is plain and simple: the agreements and procedures that all have signed up to must be honoured, adhered to and viewed as binding and not discretionary.

“Unite has acted with integrity and honour throughout and management must do likewise, starting with the reversal of the existing breaches and the re-instatement of provisions that existed prior to the breaches occurring.”

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