Skip to main content

Hundreds of bus workers in North West stage second 48-hour strike action

HUNDREDS of bus workers employed by privateer First Manchester staged their second 48-hour stoppage today, calling for a backdated pay rise.

More than 300 members of Unite braved freezing temperatures in the early hours at the operator’s main depot in Oldham.

Last week, they launched a series of weekly 48-hour strikes and will increase the action to three days next month.

The workers want an hourly rate of £13.10 backdated to August last year and restoration of a rota system which they say is essential for their family and home lives.

Picket Lee Woods, a bus driver for four-and-a-half years, told the Morning Star: “For the last three years we’ve not had a pay rise.

“When Covid hit we were asked by the company to help them out, so we have made sacrifices, giving up pay rises and our rota system.

“Now it’s time for them to pay. The drivers have done everything we have been asked to do. We are ramping up the action.”

Michael Platt, who has been a bus driver for 16 years, said: “We have worked all through Covid and we think we have done a good job.

“A lot of drivers got Covid, risked hospitalisation, risked dying.

“The company took our rotas away during Covid which we agreed to. But you depend on the rotas for your family life. Now we want them back.”

Unite branch chairman John Keeley said: “We’ve had support from the Fire Brigades Union, Unison and the public.

“I couldn’t be more chuffed about the way our members have acted.”

First Manchester managing director Ian Humphreys said he was “extremely disappointed” at the workers’ action and apologised to the public.


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 14,741
We need:£ 3,259
16 Days remaining
Donate today