Unite considering strike action over First ‘bullying culture’

The Unite union says it is prepared to ballot 3,500 members employed by First in West Yorkshire, York and South Yorkshire to consider taking strike action over what it says is a heavy handed management culture.

The dispute has come to a head over the dismissal of two of the union’s senior representatives at West Yorkshire and York on what it claims are ‘trumped up’ allegations.

It says that at First South Yorkshire, 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.

‘There is a bullying culture that certain managers have generously contributed to in recent years,’ says regional coordinating officer Steve Clark. ‘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.

Besides seeking its representatives’ reinstatement, Unite also wants First to redeploy some managers to other parts of the business.