Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/503/3160
Bus workers win victory
Stagecoach bus drivers, members of RMT and Unite, went on a 24-hour strike in Chesterfield on 7 September over pay and won a pay rise from the management.
Stagecoach operates buses in over 100 towns and cities. The Chesterfield drivers were infuriated that Stagecoach pays different rates at different depots with many drivers receiving more pay than them.
The bus drivers were working an average of 10 hours a day for a feeble £7.50 an hour. Drivers get an extra £1 on Sundays but there is no higher rate for overtime or unsociable hours.
The drivers made a big impact on the day of the strike. They had a strong picket at the depot before around 70 marched through the town centre where they handed out leaflets to the public explaining why they were on strike.
"We have shown that solidarity is strong and that we are united", said Malcolm Lord, the RMT representative at the Chesterfield depot.
With plans for a further one-day strike, the workers forced management to concede an improved hourly rate, backdated to May, which will rise to £7.90 in November.
Stagecoach plc announced in April that profits were up 38%, from £45 million to £162 million. Stagecoach boss Brian Souter received a 13% pay rise last year, taking his annual pay to over £1 million!
Susan Smethurst, North Derbyshire and Mansfield Socialist Party
In The Socialist 27 September 2007:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news