BUS drivers are being paid nearly £5,000 a year less than colleagues working for the same company five miles away, their union has claimed.
Drivers employed by First Manchester at Rusholme depot are reportedly earning as much as £95 a week less than those working out of Queen’s Road depot, which lies on the other side of the city centre.
Workers are planning five 24-hour walkouts between now and the end of November in a call for pay parity. They have already taken three days of strike action.
The Rusholme depot was bought by First Manchester from Finglands Coachways in 2013, and reps say pay harmonisation was promised.
Unite regional officer Neil Clarke said: “For four years First Manchester has repeated that pay will be harmonised, but it has always been jam tomorrow — and now our members are fed up with dry bread and the bosses’ stale words.
“The Rusholme drivers do exactly the same job with the same commitment to passenger safety as their colleagues across Greater Manchester — and when they are driving within the city centre, they are even overlapping on the same routes.
“This is a glaring injustice that needs to be rectified urgently by the company which is part of one of Europe’s biggest and most profitable bus groups.”
Strikes are due to take place on Monday October 30 and November 6, 13, 20 and 27.
A separate pay dispute has prompted walkouts across north-west England by bus drivers working for Arriva. They too are due to strike on Monday.