Solid strike brings gains

Submitted by AWL on 15 August, 2004 - 9:33

By Alison Brown

Bus drivers of the First Bus company in South Yorkshire, members of the TGWU, have been on indefinite strike over pay.
After 21 days' completely solid strike action the 1,500 strikers have succeeded in raising management's offer to their demand of 30p an hour increase, backdated to April. The union has conceded that the deal will be a two-year deal, with an additional 30p increase for next year.
First Bus made a profit of £150 million last year, but management had insisted that this pay increase was unaffordable.
Management's position was that the pay deal would have to be paid for with the loss of the first day sick pay entitlement this year and two days next year.
They withdrew this condition when they saw the strike remained solid, despite intimidation and threats of job losses from the management.
The strike has cost First Bus an estimated £5 million.
The union did not achieve all its demands, but the strike was solid and the longest in the local bus industry for 20 years.
Fitters and mechanics in the company are now balloting for industrial action over pay.
See www.first-strike.co.uk.

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