Bus strike is off – but union says troubles are not yet resolved

Posted On 15 Sep 2016 at 2:10 pm

The prospect of a strike on Brighton and Hove buses has been called off – but the union says that many of its members still have issues which are not yet resolved.
Buses in North Street. Picture by Matt Davis on Flickr
The latest ballot of Unison members working for Brighton and Hove Buses came out just in favour of calling off action after progress was made in addressing “culture issues”.

Unite members had voted by 71.4 per cent in favour of strike action with 83.3 per cent backing industrial action short of a strike following accusations of harassment, intimidation and covert surveillance.

But last month, the union and the company issues a joint press release in which Unite welcomed a fresh management style – and today, the bus company’s managing director Martin Harris welcomed the news the strike has been called off.

Mr Harris said: “This is a demonstration of good faith and common sense shown by our colleagues – it is absolutely the right result.

“I am extremely pleased the recent risk of services for our customers being disrupted by industrial action has been removed.

“The work begun to improve the culture of our business will go on. We are seeking to build ever-stronger relationships with all our colleagues and their trade union representatives.

“We have made good progress in a very short space of time but we will not underestimate the need to continue to develop the way we work together as a team – for the good of our customers and our employees.”

A Unite spokesman said: “Unite has been working with Brighton and Hove Buses to ensure the company addresses the management culture issues we have raised. Consequent to measures the company are putting in place our members voted by just over 50 per cent to withdraw the industrial action.

“We have advised the company that as the ballot was only just over 50 per cent there are still issues of concern for a large proportion of the workforce. Unite we will be continuing to work with the Company and closely monitor the situation going forward.”

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