First Manchester has been advised by Unite the Union that bus drivers at their Oldham and Queens Road, Manchester depots have confirmed that they will go out on strike on Tuesday 24th May.
The areas affected will be in Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford and Trafford. Drivers at First’s Bolton, Bury, Rusholme and Tameside depots are unaffected and will be working normally on the 24th May.
Unite have said that the reason for the strike revolves around a trade dispute regarding changes to conditions, agreements and bargaining procedures, which First Manchester deny. First Manchester are still seeking clarification on the specific issues of the dispute and what resolution Unite require to bring the dispute to an end.
In an attempt to try and resolve the dispute, First Manchester has been in discussion with the conciliatory service ACAS.
ACAS offered to convene a meeting at their earliest opportunity of Tuesday 24th May. As this coincides with the proposed day of strike action, ACAS put a proposal to Unite to postpone their action which would allow them to meet with the company and Unite to try and resolve the dispute. Unfortunately, Unite representatives have rejected this proposal.
Adrian Worsfold, Director of Operations for First Manchester said, “I’m very disappointed Unite are going ahead with strike action despite our efforts to avoid industrial action. This will bring massive disruption to customers especially those in education, work and those needing to keep appointments as well as causing personal hardship to our driving team.
“This action is unnecessary and unjustified and we urge Unite to explain what resolution they are seeking to resolve the trade dispute. We ask Unite to call off this day of action and join us around the table with ACAS and to clarify what they are seeking to bring their dispute to an end.”
For customers who have already purchased tickets, First Manchester aims to provide some complimentary travel on their services for the inconvenience that the industrial action is likely to cause.
We understand that First Manchester is currently reviewing contingency plans in the event that strike action cannot be avoided. To see the full details of which services will be affected, click here.
Updated as of 16:00 on 24/05/2016
Adrian Worsfold, Director of Operations, First Greater Manchester, has said,
“I’m sorry that customers in parts of Greater Manchester have been disrupted today due to strike action by Unite.
“Although the majority of our services are running today, including the dedicated school bus operation, services in Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford and Trafford have been affected.
“With the support of our colleagues from First Bus we are running a number of services in the Oldham & Rochdale areas where cash paying customers are being asked for a flat fare of £1 which will be donated to our charity of choice Prostate Cancer UK. I’d like to thank our own staff and colleagues at TfGM who are supporting customers across the network during this day of disruption.
“We remain focussed on finding a resolution to this dispute with Unite and we will be seeking urgent talks including the conciliatory service ACAS.”
Please note a full, normal service resumes tomorrow Wednesday 25th May.3 comments