AT its November meeting, Bolton TUC voted unanimously to support the striking Arriva bus workers.

Several delegates had taken time in work breaks to visit the picket line, and reported a high level of determination to secure a decent wage in the face of management intransigence.

It is good to note too that there is support from the majority of Boltonians polled by The Bolton News.

The strike, led by Unite and GMB, provoked an important discussion among TUC delegates, who drew attention to the employment by Arriva of individual plant bargaining, so that workers in Wythenshawe, for example, can be pitted against fellow workers in Bolton.

Trade unionists are aware of the attempts to divide and rule — a tactic employed with increasing brazenness by management where they see weakness.

Bolton TUC is determined to play its part in establishing national bargaining structures again, where workers' pay is the same across the country ( with cost of living adjustments where appropriate in eg London).

Readers may wonder why Arriva is owned by the German government; they may remember when local authorities across the UK ran their own buses; and they may begin to see the need for a Labour government as soon as possible, where transport is taken into public ownership, and national collective bargaining is encouraged and not undermined.

A government for the many, not the few!

Tom Hanley

Bolton TUC