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Go North West bus drivers in Manchester going on strike

Union claims company plans to “fire and rehire employees”

Walking off the job

Hundreds of drivers at a Manchester-based bus company could soon be walking away from their jobs.

Members of Go North West voted 4-1 in favour of striking this week.

Unite claims the bus company plans to “fire and rehire” employees. They say the measure is so drivers can work longer for less money.

Unite represents over 400 bus drivers based at the company’s Queens Road depot.

Go North West managing director Nigel Featham says news of a strike is “disappointing” adding the changes “secure 600 jobs.”


Unite regional secretary Ritchie James says: “This [strike action] will inevitably cause a great deal of disruption throughout Greater Manchester and beyond, but I hope that passengers appreciate that Unite took this action as a last resort.

“If [parent company] Go Ahead were allowed to implement its fire and rehire policies it would result in our members, who have been in the frontline since the pandemic began, having to work longer for far less money.” 

According to Mr Featham, 85% of drivers had already voluntarily signed up for the new contracts.

He says the strike would “hit people who depend on our services the most – those working in the NHS and other vital services that are keeping the region going during this pandemic”.

He also claims that drivers were offered “guaranteed inflation proofed pay increases for the next two years, and £5,000 productivity lump-sums”.

Go North West has been operating around Greater Manchester since 2019. They’re part of the Go Ahead Group plc which runs services across the UK, Ireland and Singapore.

They operate 130 buses on 30 routes in Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Trafford, and Warrington.

Bus drivers are due to walk-out on February 28. (JSL).

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