Imran Hussain MP has urged First Bus Bradford to listen seriously to the health and safety concerns of their drivers after months of working extended shifts, and get around the table to avoid industrial action early next year.
Throughout much of the year, First Bus drivers in Bradford, along with many bus drivers across the country, have been working extended shifts as a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic’s impact on passenger demand and working patterns. Yet after many months of these extended shifts, drivers are stating that they are being caused undue stress and fatigue, posing a danger to themselves and their passengers.
Despite the impact of these extended shifts on the health and safety of drivers and passengers, First Bus have refused to listen to the wishes of drivers and follow the lead of other bus companies across the country by dropping the use of extended shifts and to return to previous working agreements and schedules, and will instead maintain their current harmful shifts.
Following the refusal to listen to their concerns, First Bus’s drivers have now voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action in the new year in a ballot by trade union UNITE if the management of First Bus does not address their serious concerns around the health and safety of drivers.
Speaking on the health and safety of Bradford’s First Bus drivers, Imran said:
“First Bus drivers in Bradford are understandably extremely concerned about the effects that working months of extended shifts is having on their health and the safety of the public, and First Bus are wrong to dismiss these concerns out of hand in the manner that they appear to have done.
“No driver can work extended shifts for such a prolonged period without serious repercussions for their physical and mental health and the safety of passengers and other road users, and now passenger numbers are beginning to return to normal levels, First Bus must transition back to prior working agreements for their drivers.
“First Bus’s drivers have my full support, and with other bus companies across the country reverting to standard shifts and drivers willing to engage with First Bus, it’s up to First Bus to get around the table and find a solution that protects the health and safety of their drivers and the public, and avoids industrial action next year”.