13 Sep 2013

Cheshire: drivers to strike once a week for a pay rise

Bus workers at Network Warrington have started the first in a series of strikes in a dispute over pay. Staff at the bus company have been told there will be no pay rise for them this year, for the first time in 16 years. Network Warrington is an unusual operator in that it is run by the borough council.
The drivers say the action has also been taken because of their concerns about the way the company is being run. They will walk out one day a week for the next seven weeks in a move which has paralysed the majority of the buses. The next strike will be on Saturday 21 September.

3 Sep 2013

Paraguay: sacked drivers crucify themselves in protest

Eight Paraguayan bus drivers, who were reportedly fired from their jobs after demanding better pay and conditions, haved nail themselves to crosses in Luque, a town north of the capital, Asuncion.
The men have been lying nailed to crosses through their hands for 23 days, and have vowed to continue their protest until they are reinstated. Union leader Juan Villalba, one of the drivers crucified, said they would not give up their protest until all are reinstated. Mr Villalba claimed they had been sacked after asking for overtime pay, medical insurance and state pension contributions.
The drivers' wives are also taking turns to be nailed to crosses alongside their husbands. One appealed to the country's president to come witness their "inhuman situation". "I am joining in today. Tomorrow it will be another mum, and the following day it could be another, because we have to defend our rights," she said.
The manager of the Vanguardia bus company, Aufredi Paredes, said five of the drivers would be re-hired, but the group are refusing to return until all eight are reinstated.

Guernsey: CT Plus drivers to strike this week

Guernsey's bus drivers have voted for a two-day strike in a dispute over working hours. The action, to take place on Wednesday and Thursday, was agreed at a meeting on Sunday evening.
Unite official Bob Lanning said he was not at the meeting but he would be talking to drivers in the hope of avoiding the industrial action. Mr Lanning, who is based on the mainland, is flying to the island later on a pre-arranged visit to discuss the drivers' ongoing dispute.
In a statement the operator CT Plus said: "This action is unilateral and has not been conducted through or supported by the union, with whom we have been consulting and negotiating."
Drivers previously took industrial action for one day in June and called off a planned weekend strike.

A report on Sunday's meeting
Bus drivers said the move was not about money but was ‘an act of desperation’ against unethical working rotas and health and safety issues. A total of 25 of the 43 drivers attended Sunday night’s meeting at which 23 voted to strike and two abstained. The majority of other drivers are thought also to be in support, however. 

Drivers say they are often working from 6.30am to 9.30pm with a five- or six-hour break in the middle for which they do not get paid. Alternatively, some drivers are working 12-hour shifts with breaks of only 30 minutes.