A LONG-RUNNING strike by bus drivers has ended after they voted to accept a deal to resolve a row over pay and conditions.

Members of the Unite union at Go North West in Manchester launched an all-out strike at the end of February.

Go North West runs a network of bus routes across Greater Manchester, Salford and the North West, with buses linking towns such as Warrington, Rochdale, Bolton, Middleton and Bury with Manchester city centre.

Unite said the company has agreed to the union's demand that it will not use "fire and rehire", which it claimed will safeguard pay and conditions for thousands of employees across the Go-Ahead Group.

The deal was struck following negotiations led by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey with senior company representatives at Go North West's parent company, Go-Ahead Group.

Unite said the drivers now no longer stand to lose thousands of pounds in wages every year.

Mr McCluskey said: "We're delighted to have secured a clear commitment from the Go-Ahead Group that fire and rehire will never be used by them, bringing relief to thousands of workers who feared that they were next.

"This dispute should send a clear and unequivocal message to all employers that Unite will never accept fire and rehire for our members.

"The Government itself has described fire and rehire as a 'bully-boy practice' but the only way to guarantee UK workers are protected from this pernicious practice that's ripping through our workplaces is for the Government to follow the lead of other European countries and ban it once and for all.

"Urgent action is needed to strengthen the UK's weak laws because it's simply too easy for employers to make brutal changes to contracts, sometimes taking thousands of pounds from workers' wages."

The strike was the longest in the history of Unite.