Tracey Scholes: bus driver dismissed for being ‘too short’ wins her job back

Her trade union has welcomed the agreement with the bus company.
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Tracey Scholes lost her job after 34 years of service after her company brought in buses with the wing mirrors in a position that meant she could not drive the vehicles any longer, as she is 5ft tall.

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ManchesterWorld reported last week how colleagues who are members of the Unite union rallied round Tracey as she took her case to an appeal at the Go North West depot (see video report above).

And now Go North West has confirmed that she has been reinstated to her role.

Scott Maynard, group HR director at the firm, said: “Beginning this week, she is to start her daily duties earlier in the morning at Queen’s Road depot, allowing her to pick up a bus with wing mirrors of her preference, rather than taking on a vehicle mid-route. Weekly hours and rates of pay will be unchanged, as per a proposal made by Go North West in September.

“We have said from the start that we wanted to keep Tracey and we are glad that she has changed her mind and decided to stay. Dedicated, experienced, hard-working drivers are difficult to find and the industry is experiencing a shortage of drivers nationwide.”

What has the union said?

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Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Tracey Scholes is back in the driving seat where she belongs. Tracey’s supporters have good reason to celebrate.

“Go have finally come to their senses and agreed to Unite’s demand for Tracey’s hours and pay to be protected. It is a great victory and a testimony to Tracey’s spirit, and the solidarity of all her union colleagues, to secure this change of mind by her employers.”

However, the union claimed the dispute could have been resolved more promptly. Ms Graham added: “As the first woman bus driver at the Manchester depot, with 34 years unblemished service, Tracey deserved to be treated with dignity. It’s terrific news that she can continue to drive her bus.”

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