Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/359/5918

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 August 2004

Yorkshire bus drivers: Determination pays off

AFTER THREE weeks of indefinite strike action, South Yorkshire First bus drivers have won a significant victory in their pay dispute. This was one of the longest continuous strike actions in the UK bus industry for 30 years.

Alistair Tice

The Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) members have voted to accept the revised pay offer of a 30p an hour increase this year and another 30p next year.

Most importantly there are no 'strings' attached to the deal. Previously, management wanted to make the rise 'self-financing' by first refusing to back-date the offer to April and then by withdrawing first day's sick pay.

Drivers rightly saw this as the thin end of the wedge. If accepted this would have resulted in First withdrawing sick-pay throughout the rest of their group of bus companies, and second and third day sick pay being withdrawn in subsequent years.

Indefinite strike action

After one and two-day strikes last year, the bus drivers were determined not to mess about this year and voted overwhelmingly for indefinite strike action. The strike was solid throughout with picketing at all four depots, including round the clock at Olive Grove in Sheffield, where up to 150 demonstrated some mornings.

This unity was reinforced by the overwhelming support from the public who were shocked by the 5.85 an hour pay for such a hard job. This was reflected in radio polls, the local paper's letters page and the 565 raised by Socialist Party members for the strike fund.

One shop steward, Les, told me that since they'd gone back to work he'd not had a single adverse comment from passengers, most saying: "Welcome back driver."

The bus drivers' determination was strengthened by management desperation. They swung from threatening to run scab buses, to calls for arbitration, to advertising for Polish drivers! Even on the day the bosses capitulated, drivers had received letters threatening that they'd be sacked "at the appropriate time".

The strikers remained confident because they knew that the company had the money to pay up - First made 10 million profit last year in South Yorkshire alone and 161 million worldwide. It was estimated it would only cost them three days profits to settle - in the end it cost them 21 days!

As TGWU branch secretary Martin Mayer said: "We have a victory but there's anger among some members that we had to go on strike to get this deal."

There is also hope that this victory will give bus drivers elsewhere the confidence to strike for decent pay and conditions.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 21 August 2004:

Warning: Public Sector Under Attack

Action needed across the public sector

New Labour at war with firefighters

The fighting spirit that saved a pit

Know your rights

Europride Manchester: Stop bullying and discrimination


International socialist news and analysis

Resistance in Iraq

Oil prices set to rock world economy

Armed intervention in Sudan must be opposed

Venezuela referendum - corrupt elite lose again

Boston: Hundreds pack Ralph Nader meeting

Building for a socialist world


Workplace news and analysis

Swansea staff fight outsourcing

Yorkshire bus drivers: Determination pays off


 

Home   |   The Socialist 21 August 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Yorkshire:

triangleDemonstrators see off far-right in Keighley

triangleHuddersfield A&E closure goes to judicial review

triangleThree week Argos strike ends

triangleCommunity and artists campaign to save Todmorden College

Pay:

triangleJustice for Tube cleaners demo

triangleThem & Us

triangleMonarch abdicates responsibility to workers

triangleSocialist Party PCS bulletin: Scrap the pay cap

Strike:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

trianglePoverty, repression and fightback on the docks

TGWU:

triangleReview: 'On the Track' by Bill Mullins

Buses:

triangleLondon Buses safety campaign

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/10/17

Cleaners

Justice for Tube cleaners demo

11/10/17

Salford

Salford Unison condemns pay cuts

11/10/17

Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

11/10/17

Carlisle

Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

11/10/17

Green

Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

11/10/17

Fire

No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

11/10/17

Cardiff

Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

11/10/17

John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation

11/10/17

Orgreave

Join the Orgreave Halloween rally

11/10/17

Union

Workplace news in brief

11/10/17

Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

6/10/17

Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

5/10/17

Runcorn

Too much to cross the Mersey

4/10/17

Royal Mail

Set for national strike action

4/10/17

London

Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2