The Unite union says it is prepared to ballot around 3,500 members employed by First Bus in Yorkshire for strike action over what it says is the management’s “systematic campaign of anti-trade union activities”.
An internal appeal in Leeds tomorrow will consider the union’s case against the dismissal of two Unite senior representatives at First West Yorkshire & North Yorkshire for what the union says are trumped up allegations. Unite is demanding their immediate reinstatement.
At First South Yorkshire, Unite says that the drivers, engineers, clerical staff and cleaning workers have been subjected to “a return to a harsh disciplinary code” and the undermining of long-standing agreements.
It claims that “certain managers” in the two companies are colluding in a campaign of anti-trade union activities and says that these unnamed executives should be moved out of Yorkshire, so that a better employment relations environment can be created.
Unite regional coordinating officer Steve Clark says: “We have about 3,500 members working across these two FirstGroup companies where they have been subjected to a systematic campaign of anti-trade union activities. There is a bullying culture that certain managers have generously contributed to in recent years.
“It is our view that there are a number of ‘bad apple’ managers working for FirstGroup in Yorkshire who have colluded in creating this appalling employment relations’ climate. A prerequisite for an improvement in industrial relations is the redeployment of these managers out of Yorkshire.
“This is crunch week for First Group in Yorkshire – either there is a dramatic U-turn or we will proceed to industrial action ballots, which will include the option for strikes. If the strike action is voted for, this will cause massive disruption to bus services and the travelling public throughout Yorkshire. The ball, therefore, is very much in FirstGroup’s court.”