A long running strike for fair pay has gained support from local trade unionists and residents, with fifty people turning up to pre-dawn picket lines in the rain. Sam O’Brien reports from Manchester.
Striking bus drivers at the First Bus Rusholme depot were joined by 50 Manchester trade unionists and residents on the morning of Wednesday 10 January in a show of support for their dispute for pay parity. They are now in the 14th week of their dispute. The drivers are paid £5,000 a year less than drivers at other depots and voted 96% in favour of strike action for a pay increase of £1.46 an hour to bring them up to £10.50 an hour.
The picket lines began just after 4am this morning with pickets crossing the road back and forth in front of the exit to the depot. The police forced the pickets aside at around 5am and arrested two people. They managed to get four scab buses out. Then the moving picket line reformed and the next lot of scab drivers had to switch off their engines.