Bus strike still looms in South Yorkshire over ‘bullying’ row as union prepares ballot

A bus strike is still on the horizon in South Yorkshire in a row over a ‘bullying culture’ at bus operator First group.

Monday, 4th February 2019, 10:41 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:20 pm
A bus strike still looms in South Yorkshire

Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, is proceeding with its preparations for an industrial action ballot of 3,500 Yorkshire bus workers over ‘the bullying culture’ at two First Group companies.

The union is preparing the paperwork for the ballots, with the option for strike action, at First West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire, and First South Yorkshire in protest at what it says is an “anti-union stance” created over many years.

A bus strike still looms in South Yorkshire

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The union is awaiting the outcome of the internal appeals against the dismissal of two Unite senior reps at First West Yorkshire & North Yorkshire which were held last week.

Unite said that the management was going to carry out more investigations on the future of the two stewards and announce its decision this Thursday. Unite has demanded their immediate reinstatement.

Unite regional coordinating officer Steve Clark said: “We are continuing with our legal preparations to hold ballots for industrial action by our 3,500 members working across these two First Group companies.

“We say that they have been subjected to a systematic campaign of anti-trade union activities. There is a bullying culture that certain managers have greatly contributed to in recent years.

“The appeals for our two stewards were held this week, but the decision won’t be announced until next Thursday, as the management wants to conduct more inquiries. We are absolutely clear that they should be immediately reinstated.” 

Unite has said that certain managers in the two companies were colluding in a campaign of anti-trade union activities and that these executives should be moved out of Yorkshire, so that a better employment relations’ environment  can be created.

Paul Matthews, Managing Director at First West Yorkshire said: “We have a good relationship with Unite the Union and are continuing to work closely with them.”