Go North West seeks to impose salary and sick pay cuts- during the pandemic
Bus drivers at Manchester’s Go North West, a subsidiary of the Go Ahead Group have balloted and voted overwhelmingly for strike action over the company’s plans to ‘fire and rehire’ drivers. The ballot returned an 82% yes vote on a 77% turn out.
If Go North West were successful in pushing through their policy, bus drivers in Manchester would lose 10 per cent of their wages which translates to drivers who currently earn £24,000 per year losing £2,500.
Not only that, drivers would also be forced to work longer for no extra. The company also wants to tear up their sick pay policy which would force workers to attend work when ill or if they should be self-isolating.
Tensions rose on 8 February when the company delivered letters to the drivers stating they had just 8 days to accept the new contracts or be dismissed. Unite immediately accused Go North West of underhanded bullying tactics.
No dates have been confirmed yet but Unite have warned Go North West to tear up is “fire and rehire” policy and to come round the table before strikes cause huge disruption to Manchester.
Unite Regional Secretary Ritchie James said “Unite’s members have been forced into this position by the company which has waged an extremely aggressive and hostile campaign against its own workers”.United Left stands in defiance of Go North West’s plans to fire and rehire the Manchester bus drivers, as we do against any company that attempts to make profit from the misery of the Covid Pandemic.
by Joanne Harris, London Bus driver