Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/26331

Posted on 19 October 2017 at 18:51 GMT

Wythenshawe depot picket line, Arriva North West, 19.10.17, photo by Becci Heagney

Wythenshawe depot picket line, Arriva North West, 19.10.17, photo by Becci Heagney   (Click to enlarge)

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

Becci Heagney

Bus drivers across 11 depots around the North West took their first day of strike action on 19th October, with another two days planned for 23rd and 30th October. The Unite members working for Arriva North West are fighting for a pay rise and pay parity across the depots.

They accuse Arriva North West of using divide and rule tactics, and an element of 'performance related pay', across the region. There can be up to 2 an hour difference in drivers' pay from depot to depot.

Management are resisting pay rises, or arguing for less, in depots where the service isn't as profitable. It's through no fault of the drivers that fewer people might use a particular route and therefore they should be paid the same wherever they work.

They are not asking for much, just an increase above inflation. And considering Arriva North West is currently making a 15% profit on the service and one boss received a 43,000 bonus, they can certainly afford to give a decent pay rise!

Unite has tried to negotiate, including going to Acas, but it has been reported that the company is refusing to talk in any meaningful way.

The strike has been hugely effective with nearly every depot out and buses not running at all in some areas. In Wythenshawe, south Manchester, only three buses were running, compared to a normal 30 or so during peak times.

Two drivers who at first went into work then walked out and joined the strike, were hugged and had their hands shaken by workers on the picket line.

This strike, along with the dispute between the RMT and Arriva Rail North against Driver Only Operation, highlights the need to take these services out of the hands of private companies. The bus services should be brought back into the public sector where they can be run for the needs of passengers, and drivers can be given a fair deal.


Runcorn

Runcorn picket line, Arriva North West, 19.10.17, photo by S. Armstrong

Runcorn picket line, Arriva North West, 19.10.17, photo by S. Armstrong   (Click to enlarge)

Arriva drivers in Runcorn staged a 100% walk out today in support of their fight for a living wage. Unite Shop Steward Ste Cunningham stated: "Drivers are only asking for 3%, in line with inflation, but management keep coming back with lower offers. We've been in negotiations since April, but management refuse to make an offer we can recommend to our members."

The strike is solid across Merseyside and Cheshire, Ste informed us, with managers attempting to run one service in Winsford, without much success.

Many passengers were unaware of the strike, as Arriva has done little, if anything, to inform them. Runcorn has a dedicated bus route around the town which is heavily used and by failing to communicate with passengers, Arriva has failed in its duty to them. Public support in Halton is high for the drivers, and the strikes planned for the next few weeks are expected to go ahead.

Ste Armstrong

Merseyside

Socialist Party members in Liverpool and Birkenhead visited the pickets to show support, which was warmly received by the drivers. At the Birkenhead picket, the idea of coordinating strikes on the buses with the RMT action on the railways was strongly supported by strikers who know a common thread is the Arriva company.

Arriva is trying to boost the profits it repatriates to Germany by getting rid of train guards and holding down bus drivers' pay. Unite and RMT reps as well as officials should jointly discuss dates of future strikes to coordinate for maximum impact.

Recent protests in Liverpool against the withdrawal of bus services on some routes show the need for the full return of public transport to the public sector with all the cuts to staff and services reversed. During the metro mayor election campaign on Merseyside earlier this year, TUSC candidate Roger Bannister put forward this policy, explaining that the metro mayor position could be used to push forward these kinds of anti-austerity pro-socialist ideas.

Labour in local government on Merseyside has been showing no intention of adopting these kind of ideas. The Socialist Party and TUSC supporters will advocate them at every stage and support workers like the bus drivers and rail guards who are, together with the travelling public, those paying the price for the privatisation racket.

Hugh Caffrey

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 19 October 2017 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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






Related links:

North West:

triangleArriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangleHuge support for strikes of bus drivers and train guards

triangleArriva bus workers' dispute continues

triangleNationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

Strike:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Save our NHS - the lessons of the Barts strike

triangleUni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

triangleBig political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

triangleTeachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

Pay:

triangleI'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

triangleFighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?

triangleRoyal Mail forced back under threat of action

Drivers:

triangleMini-strike wave continues and intensifies

triangleArriva bus strikers stand firm

Unite:

triangleSadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

Buses:

triangleLondon Buses safety campaign

Manchester:

triangleManchester Socialist Students: 200 years of Marxism

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/2/18

Walthamstow

Building the campaign against clearances of the working class

16/2/18

Haringey

No fudge with the right wing

15/2/18

TUSC

TUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent

14/2/18

Haringey

Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

14/2/18

UCU

Uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

14/2/18

Cardiff

Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig

14/2/18

Carlisle

Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

14/2/18

Firefighters

Staines fire services saved

14/2/18

Surrey

Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

14/2/18

Woolwich

Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

14/2/18

London

Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

14/2/18

Mansfield

Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

8/2/18

Newham

Teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

7/2/18

Unison

Unison national women's conference

7/2/18

Royal Mail

Royal Mail forced back under threat of action

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

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: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

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

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999