Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/416/4734
Stoke bus drivers:
Eighth strike for £8 an hour
ON 19 and 20 November First Bus drivers will strike for the eight and ninth time in North Staffordshire. As reported in previous issues of the socialist, First Bus can easily pay the wage increase to £8 an hour that the drivers are demanding from the £50,000 profit the drivers earn for the company every day.
In the last week, First Bus have announced half yearly profits of £40.7 million. Does this mean drivers will now get £8 an hour? Of course not! First Bus has decided instead to increase dividends to shareholders by 10%.
No wonder the drivers are angry at the attitude of First Bus bosses. One driver said: "This stinks, those who drive buses and make the profits get an offer which is an insult and those who don't drive buses get an increase".
The longer this strike has gone on the more determined drivers have become. No buses have moved. Polish, Czech and Hungarian workers have stood shoulder to shoulder on the picket line. At the main Adderley Green depot, a caravan organised by the workers themselves provides food and drinks for those on picket duty.
And Stoke Socialist Party has demonstrated the massive support which exists for the drivers among ordinary working-class people by collecting more than 2,500 names on a petition. This support was summed up by one bloke who limped up to our stall in Hanley and told us, "Because of the strike I have had to walk from Tunstall to Hanley. I couldn't afford a taxi and I suffer from acute thrombosis in both legs but I want to sign your petition because I support the bus drivers' fight for decent pay".
- Please send messages of support to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with copies to: email@example.com. Send donations payable to "TGWU 5/24" to Peter Fahy, Transport House, 140 Broad St, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4HP.
In The Socialist 17 November 2005: