Strike Action Called by Unite Affecting First Manchester Bus Services

Strike Action Called by Unite Affecting First Manchester Bus Services
A First Manchester owned Volvo B5LH with Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini 2 bodywork in Manchester.Macauley Pugh

First Manchester has been advised by Unite the Union that bus drivers at their Bolton and Rusholme depots will go out on strike on every Monday throughout October 2017.

Commuters are being warned to plan ahead and expect disruption to bus services on Monday 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th October as staff from First Manchester’s Bolton and Rusholme depots plan to take strike action.

Bus services from First Manchester’s Oldham and Queens Road depots are unaffected including Manchester’s Metroshuttle.

Most bus services operated from the company’s Rusholme and Bolton depots are not expected to run and the business is advising all customers to visit its website where a list of affected services will be provided as soon as possible.

The dispute follows the rejection of a recent pay offer by First Manchester despite an equivalent offer being accepted by other First Manchester staff.

All public transport and Greater Manchester’s roads are expected to be busier, especially at peak morning and evening times, with key commuter routes forecast to face the most pressure as people affected by the strike make alternative arrangements.

A total of 43 routes will be affected if the walkout by 679 staff members from the operator’s Bolton and Rusholme depots goes ahead. That’s most services which run from those depots.

Phil Medlicott, Managing Director at First Manchester, said: “We’re extremely disappointed that staff from two of our depots have decided to take strike action despite a very reasonable pay offer.

“We are working with the Union to try and come to a solution that will avoid strike action, but it’s clear that the Union is intent on causing the maximum amount of disruption and inconvenience. I am truly sorry that our customers will be affected if the industrial action does go ahead.”

“We will be working very hard over the next few days to finalise our contingency plans and establish what level of service we will be able to provide.”

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