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Manchester bus workers will raise new trade union banner as they lead May Day

STRIKING bus workers in Manchester will raise a new trade union banner tomorrow as they lead the city’s May Day march.

Four hundred bus workers employed by Go North West, part of public transport giant Go Ahead, have been on strike for eight weeks, resisting pay cuts and worsened conditions planned by the employer using the scandalous fire-and-rehire tactic.

Their union Unite is waging a nationwide campaign in support of the strikers and against fire and rehire, which the TUC says is being used by employers to attack the pay and conditions of 2.3 million workers.

The bus strikers’ new banner, which will lead Manchester Trades Council’s May Day march from the city centre to the picket lines outside the strikers’ Queens Road bus depot, is based on a photo of the pickets taken by Morning Star photographer Neil Terry.

The Morning Star understands that new proposals from Go North West aimed at resolving the dispute are under consideration by the union. Meanwhile, the strike continues.

Speaking at a May Day rally in Manchester on Saturday, Ian Allinson, a Unite delegate to Manchester TUC, anticipated a potential national setback for fire and rehire, and the abandonment of the tactic in Britain “as it has been in so many countries.”

Mr Allinson said Go North West had attempted to mount a scab bus service using non-union labour, helped by other privateer operators. 

But, he said, Unite had launched a “leverage operation” targeting Go Ahead’s operations across the country.

Days after the launch of Unite’s campaign new proposals were received from Go Ahead.

Tomorrow’s Manchester march assembles in Piccadilly Gardens at 11am.

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