#NoGo: solidarity with the Go NW bus strike

Unite members at Go Ahead NW’s Queen’s Road bus garage have been on indefinite strike since Sunday 28 February 2021 against #fireandrehire being used to impose cuts to pay, sick pay, and many other detrimental changes such as five hours driving without leaving the cab to stretch or use a toilet. We all have a stake in the strike’s success: to counter the scourge of #fireandrehire, to prevent inadequate sick pay risking public health in a pandemic, and to avoid a race to the bottom across the transport industry.

Go North West are trying to break the strike by outsourcing services to companies including APH, Edwards coaches, Belle Vue, Selwyns, Tyrers, Travellers Choice, Red Rose Travel, Bullocks, Connexions Buses, MP Travel, Regalway (Viking), Vision Coaches, Atlantic Travel, Mostonian 2000 Coaches, Coach Travel Solutions, Harris Travel, Red Routemaster, Midland Classic, York Pullman and Widnes Coaches. Many of the scab services are using vehicles which don’t meet accessibility standards and there have been examples of buses running with too many passengers to be Covid safe and of dangerous driving.

On Monday 3 May, as part of the Manchester May Day Festival, there will be a masked, distanced march from Piccadilly Gardens at 11am to the top of Boyle Street, next to the Queen’s Road bus garage, where we will have short rally. Please bring family, friends, flags, banners, delegations, contingents and blocs to celebrate International Workers’ Day and show our solidarity. Please follow Covid safety guidelines at all times – more details via the Facebook event.

On Saturday 3 April Manchester TUC and the People’s Assembly Against Austerity organised a cavalcade across Manchester, a rally and a solidarity march. There’s a full livestream thanks to the People’s Assembly and Unite have made a great clip of Unite rep Colin Hayden’s speech.

Locals outside their house applauding the march going past
Locals applauding the march. Photo: Neil Terry Photography

On 13 March Manchester TUC hosted an online solidarity public meeting for the strike – you can watch the video here:

  • Unite’s Q&A about the dispute
  • Unite has set up a tool to help you email David Brown, the CEO of the Go Ahead bus company group.
  • You can download a model letter you can adapt to send to your MP.
  • Updates on Facebook via Unite North West and an unofficial campaign page
  • Updates on Twitter via Unite North West and GoAttacks
  • The Queen’s Road garage is at the corner of Queen’s Road and Boyle Street, Cheetham Hill, M8 8UT (map). There are pickets every day from early morning until around 5pm.
  • The in-house part of the strike-breaking effort is being run from Heywood Distribution Park, Pilsworth Road, Heywood, OL10 2TT (map).
  • Routes normally covered by the striking workers: 1, 2, 3, 17, 17A, 18, 33, 33B, 34, 41, 52, 53, X63, 67, 67A, 92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 98, 100, 135, 415, 765, 791, Y9.
  • Schools the strikers provided some services to: All Hallows, Cardinal Langley, Holy Cross College, Our Lady’s, Parrenthorn.
  • Cheques to the strike fund should be payable to “Unite NW 4/5 branch”: