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Protest in support of Tracey Scholes

Protest in support of Tracey Scholes. Photo: @Unite_NorthWest / Twitter

Protesters gathered outside the Go North West depot to show their support for Tracey Scholes at her final appeal, reports Chris Neville

There was a fantastic turnout in Manchester on Tuesday to support Go North West's bus driver Tracey Scholes. Tracey, who has worked as a driver at the Queens Road bus depot for 34 years and was the depot's first woman bus driver, has been dismissed from her job for being 'too short'.

Go North West recently decided to implement new wing mirrors on their fleet but Tracey raised health and safety concerns, saying that her small stature meant she was unable to safely drive the vehicles. Rather than seek to make suitable adaptations, Go North West dismissed Tracey after she refused an inferior contract on less pay and shorter hours.

The company, under the stewardship of Managing Director, Nigel Featham has a history of attacks on its workforce and the depot recently saw the longest-running bus strike in British history as its Unite members fought back against fire and rehire last year.

Tuesday was Tracey's final appeal at the depot and many local activists and trade unionists held a protest outside to show their support.

Mike Thompson, Unite national officer said:

"It's one of the most appalling cases of discrimination we have seen.

"This is a woman who has been here for 34 years. In many ways she's a trailblazer in a male-dominated industry. She should be treated as an ambassador.

"But she's been treated abysmally. There is no reason why they can't come to a compromise.

"But it's also the message they are sending out for female workers.

"Every proposal they have made she Tracey out of pocket. All she is asking for is one more hour a day."

Over 28,000 people have signed a petition supporting Tracey Scholes. You can add your name here.

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