RMT members at Wilts and Dorset buses vote for action after managers impose harder working conditions

Tim Lezard

Wilts & Dorset busBus drivers in the South West of England have voted for strike action after managers warned their jobs were at risk unless they accepted severe cuts to their working conditions.

RMT members at Wilts and Dorset buses are angry after managers enforced changes to their  shifts, changed sign-on and sign-off times and imposed unpaid meal breaks – all meaning staff would work longer for less.

The company is also threatening that routes could be terminated and the company could pull out all together if staff don’t bend the knee and accept severe cuts to their working conditions.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “In this massive vote for action RMT members have shown that they will not sit back while the profitable Wilts and Dorset buses outfit, which is also benefitting from a whole range of tax-payer funded subsidies, launches an all-out attack on terms and conditions while bullying staff with a threat to pull the service if they don’t bend the knee.

“ The last accounts for the company show that pre-tax profits increased by 44% to £9.447m – money earned off the back of the workforce – but even that isn’t enough for this crowd as they look to turn the screw with an assault on working conditions that would see staff running round like serfs with barely a minute for a breather.

“This overwhelming mandate for action will now be considered by RMT’s executive and demonstrates to the company the strength of feeling on the shop floor and the determination amongst our members to stop the attacks on terms and conditions and to secure workplace justice from this wealthy company.

“The union remains available for talks to resolve this dispute which is all about bleeding staff dry and threatening to walk away from services that have already been subsidised up to the eyeballs with taxpayers cash.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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