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Activists blocking Go North West buses

Activists blocking Go North West buses. Photo: Chris Neville

Ahead of an all-out strike beginning Sunday against fire and rehire, community activists blocked Go North West's buses, reports Chris Neville

Community activists and trade unionists in Manchester took direct action this morning to block buses leaving the depot for their early morning routes in support of strike action planned to start on Sunday.

Drivers at Go North West's Queen's Road Bus Depot are on all-out strike from Sunday after Unite members there voted 83% in favour of strike action against the company's plans to fire and rehire them on new contracts that would reduce sick pay and wages.

This morning's activity was a repeat of similar action taken multiple times last year when the company suspended the Unite rep and quickly proceeded to push through their plans to fire and rehire 500 drivers.

Police have turned up each time but this morning they were relatively slow to appear, and this allowed the activists to cause huge disruption to the day's services, denting the company's profits.

The UK's harsh anti-trade union legislation means that community action such as this is an effective way to show support and solidarity with striking workers. Whilst unionised workers must jump through hoops to hurt the company financially, protest and direct action can provide additional headaches for company bosses in the fight for pay and conditions.

Go North West are set to bring in scab labour via coach contractors once the strike gets underway next week to break the strike. The wider movement must continue to provide support where possible to help striking workers win!

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