26 Feb 2010

Indefinite strike in Bangladesh

Lalmonirhat District Bus and Minibus Workers Union yesterday started an indefinite strike on Lalmonirhat-Burimari land port route, in protest at the vandalising of a bus and assault of a bus worker at Barokhat bus stand in Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat.
Union sources said the people of Barokhata village vandalised a passenger bus and assaulted a busworker, Kanchon Sarker, following a feud over a bus fare on Tuesday evening. Injured Kanchon was admitted to Hatibandha Upazila Health Complex. The strike will continue until their demand is met, said union leaders.

25 Feb 2010

Savage cuts in Chicago

The leader of the union representing CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) bus drivers says there could be a strike vote Monday, in the wake of service and staff cuts.
The bus drivers’ union has suffered the majority of the 1,057 layoffs the CTA imposed to close a $95.6 million budget gap. The transit agency cut bus service 18 percent on 7 February.
Darrell Jefferson, the president of the union local, said the CTA has been violating the union’s contract — for instance, by requiring part-time workers, who are supposedly limited to 32 hours a week, to work overtime. He said part-time workers are working 15-to-16-hour days to make up for the people laid off.

Welsh drivers vote to strike

Bus drivers in North Wales have voted by 77 percent for strikes.
The drivers at Arriva Buses Wales voted by 275 to 82 to strike for the same rate of pay as drivers in Liverpool, who get an extra £1 an hour.So far bosses have only offered a 20p an hour rise.
The action will hit bus depots in Wrexham, Rhyl, Llandudno and Bangor.

23 Feb 2010

Virginian bus drivers reject contract

Richmond, Virginia, USA.
The regional transit system's union members have rejected a tentative labor agreement for the second time, but management say they will not deviate from their current offer of no layoffs and no cuts in wages and benefits.
The company's contract proposal "was turned down overwhelmingly" by the union's membership in a vote Sunday, said Deloris Coker, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union's Local. 1220.http://www2.timesdispatch.com

18 Feb 2010

Finnish strike postponed

The threatened strike by bus and truck drivers will not begin on Sunday. The walkout in the road transport industry is to begin at 6 pm on Monday March 2 if no deal is reached by then.

Mediation efforts continued on Thursday under National Labour Conciliator Esa Lonka. In the afternoon the Transport Workers' Union (AKT) announced that the strike would be postponed for two weeks even if no final settlement is reached in the next few days.

Otherwise the strike by truck and bus drivers would have started on Sunday, causing serious potential problems as school winter holidays start across southern Finland. The strike would affect about 10,000 members of the Transport Workers Union. Some municipal bus services would not be affected.

Employee demands include extending the length of minimum work shifts -- a move that management says would be too expensive. The AKT is also threatening a strike by dock workers.

Oxford Bus pay deal

Workers have accepted a pay deal of 1.2 percent this year and half a percent above inflation next year at Oxford Bus.

It is lower than the original offer that workers rejected. But the company has been forced to withdraw plans to put new workers on a lower pay scale for the first two years and plans to reduce the minimum daily working hours.

Organisation at Sovereign wins gains

Workers at the Sovereign bus company in west London have won significant gains.
Drivers at Sovereign have been some of the worst paid in London. But union organisation is changing that. Proposals under a new deal would see pay increased by 2.35 percent.

There are also advances for new drivers. Their basic rate of pay will increase by 7 percent. A further increase from July this year will put new drivers on the same rate as existing drivers. Rates for rest days worked will also be boosted by nearly 12 percent for new drivers.
And sick pay will start after one year of employment instead of two.

The company has also agreed to improvements over a substantial range of issues including weekly bonuses, holiday entitlement, pensions and redundancy terms, profit related bonuses and rates for working over Christmas and new year.

One important unresolved issue remains – the minimum guaranteed hours for drivers.
Drivers are angry that management has strung out the negotiations. As there is no provision for back payments, drivers will lose three months of benefits.

As a result and also because of difficult industrial relations at the company – a leading rep was suspended before Christmas until mid January – there is no union recommendation for workers to accept the deal. Nevertheless, the real gains won can be built on in the future.

Finnish strike threatens chaos

A possible strike by bus and lorry drivers affiliated with the Finnish Transport Workers Union (AKT), which might start on Sunday evening, would disrupt the winter holiday plans of many Finns.
Next week schools in the south of Finland are closed for the annual winter holiday, also known as the “skiing holiday”. In addition to long-range buses, the stoppage would bring local and regional bus services to a halt in many areas.
Mediation efforts continue in the dispute on Thursday. If no actual settlement is reached in the dispute, there will be attempts to persuade the union to postpone the strike for two weeks.