Bestival buses will run despite drivers’ strike

By David Newble

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

 

BOSSES at the Go-Ahead group, the parent company of Southern Vectis say all buses will be running during Bestival weekend when two days of strike action are planned by unions.

Bus drivers downed tools on Thursday last week and are planning a further two days of stoppages on Friday and Saturday in a dispute over pay.

During last week’s strike, additional drivers were brought in from the mainland to replace striking drivers.

However, unions say that if the company had spent money resolving the dispute instead of bringing in additional staff from the mainland, the strikes could come to an end.

RMT regional organiser Pete Gale said: "To enable them to run services they had to bring over a number of managers. If they devoted as much effort to solving the dispute as they devoted to trying to defeat it, we would probably be able to end it."

Alex Carter, managing director for Go Ahead companies in the south who was one of the team of replacement drivers, said: "We want to make it clear we will not allow a minority of RMT supporters to disrupt services that are relied upon by the elderly and infirm, who depend on our network for their transport.

"The only people who will be inconvenienced are the striking staff who will continue to lose pay and achieve nothing."

Reporter: davidn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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