Around 20 activists, trade unionists and members of the public staged a second demonstration outside First Bus Manchester’s depot at Queens Road, Cheetham Hill this morning.
The protest was called in support of striking drivers at First’s depot in Rusholme who are fighting for an increase in pay to try and address the £5,000 a year difference in pay between themselves and drivers doing the same job a mere 5 miles away.
Solidarity was shown by striking Fujitsu workers, members of Manchester TUC and Stockport TUC, the People’s Assembly, Rusholme councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Rusholme resident and Labour Party member James Quinn, Marcia Hutchinson of the Labour Party, actor John Henshaw, and other activists and members of the public.
Services were disrupted for over an hour and a half by the peaceful demonstration.
James Quinn said, “We’re here to support the Rusholme drivers as they seek parity of pay after 4 years of broken promises.”
A spokesperson for the People’s Assembly added, “Bus drivers do a difficult and demanding job. Drivers at the major depots across Greater Manchester receive in the region of £12 per hour. To pay drivers in Rusholme – who drive on one of the busiest routes in Europe – less than £10 for doing the same job, is, frankly, an insult. Members of the public have shown, time and time again, that they support the Rusholme drivers and have repeatedly taken to social media to condemn this penny-pinching by one of Britain’s largest bus companies.”
John Henshaw told us why he was there: “I’m here to support the drivers. In this year when we are celebrating equality, it’s ridiculous that drivers a few miles away are being paid a quarter less. I’ve been in a similar situation and you can’t do this without support, so I’m here to help them fight for a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”