Thursday 22nd December saw another picket organized by First bus drivers at the Rusholme Depot in support of their ongoing dispute over pay. Drivers at First's Rushome depo are being paid up to £5000 a year less than colleagues working at the First’s Queen’s Road base just five miles away. The drivers at the Rusholme depo originally worked for Finglands Buses who were taken over by First Manchester in 2013. At the time of the takeover the Finglands drivers were promised parity but after repeated promises by First to harmonizes pay, drivers at Rusholme still find themselves being paid 23% less.
As one picket stated "at Rusholme we do exactly the same job with the same commitment to passenger safety as their colleagues across Greater Manchester – and when we are driving within the city centre, we are even overlapping on the same routes, yet we are being paid £5000 a year less"
As part of their campaign the drivers have been taking a series of strikes the latest of which took place on the 20th, 22nd and 23rd December. In an attempt to head off the strikes First Buses put forward an "offer" which amounted to little more than yet more promises to harmonize pay at a future date. The offer was put to drivers at a meeting outside the Rusholme depo and was unanimously rejected by a show of hands.
The drivers vowed to carry on their campaign to end the disgrace of workers being paid 23% less than than other workers doing exactly the same job for the same company.
For more information please contact
Unite regional officer Neil Clarke on 07734 743460 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065
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