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Pickets at Hunslet depot, Leeds which remains mostly full again for a further strike day - photo Tanis Belsham-Wray

Pickets at Hunslet depot, Leeds which remains mostly full again for a further strike day – photo Tanis Belsham-Wray

“It was great to see your party supporting us at the weekend” was the comment of one driver, echoed by numerous others.

Tanis Belsham-Wray & Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

This was in response to Socialist Party members in Leeds organising a stall and producing a leaflet in support of the strike. Several drivers and family members had stopped by the stall, but one particular striker was overjoyed to see such a show of solidarity and had shared a photo of the stall around Facebook.

Monday 20th June saw Unite drivers at first have taken a second day of action for a pay increase, after talks had not fundamentally changed the situation of a pay rise where the bulk of it wouldn’t be paid until an unspecified date in the future, possibly as late as May next year.

Yet since the last strike, First have reported an increase in profits overall, up to £52 million, with around a 1/3 of that coming from Leeds.  This only justifies the strike further. Many of the strikers felt insulted by a letter from First implying they don’t deserve an increase. The company has since harded its stance by imposing an overtime ban.

In the face of a management determined to defend First’s increasing profits, further strike action will be undoubtedly necessary. Socialist Party members will continue to give this strike our full backing.

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