This week, as the hundredth anniversary of the suffragettes equality victory is celebrated, and as Tesco workers slap in claims for equal pay, more action took place this morning in support of First Bus drivers who have been fighting for equal pay.
Between 5:45am and 7:30am scores of buses were stopped from leaving the Queens Road depot as gates were blocked by protesters, who were joined by actor John Henshaw.
"I'm here to support the drivers as this is all about fairness" he told the Salford Star "You can't pay one man for doing a job and another man less, it's a disgrace. And it's not fair; they're doing the same job at 23% less, and I think it's absolutely disgusting really."
The dispute, which has been ongoing for months, centres on the pay disparity that sees First Bus drivers in Rusholme on £9.05 an hour, while colleagues in other depots like Queens Road get £12.10 an hour; a discrepancy of around £5,000 a year.
Since regular strike action and supporting protests have taken place, management has now offered £10 an hour, which has been rejected, so unions and management are set to go to conciliatory organisation, ACAS, to try to resolve the dispute.
"Tomorrow is the last day of action pending that decision, but there's no doubt that the support the drivers have received has given them a lot of encouragement" Rusholme resident and supporter, James Quinn explained "I also think it's influenced the management which wasn't budging at all but has now got to be seen to be doing something.
"I think they thought that the drivers would lose morale but that hasn't happened, the support remains for them" he added "This is one of First's biggest garages in the area and we're sending a message to them that they shouldn't have stiffed First drivers for the last four or five years like they have, and that we'll continue to support them."
Today's blockade, which also stopped buses going into Salford, wasn't official union action as that would be illegal under stringent anti-strike laws brought in by successive governments. But supporters were defiant that if the unions couldn't act, they would. The police arrived at 7am but didn't try to stop the protest.
"I think it's important for workers in different situations to support each other" said James Quinn "Disputes like this don't happen in isolation and we're trying to get back to a time when people did support each other. Meanwhile we really do hope for a good outcome for the drivers."
His sentiments were underlined by John Henshaw, who, while working as a binman for ten years, says he did time 'on the gate' during strikes.
"We're all human beings but in this world some are more equal than others and that's got to stop" he explained "People should get the rate for the job and no man should get more than another man. If they can get away with it they will do but we've all got the same responsibilities, the same bills to pay.
"This is about equality" he added "It's one hundred year since the suffragettes and people have got to turn around and say 'We're not standing for it' and support these drivers. We're asking for fairness and equality for everybody really."
For a full background also see previous Salford Star article on the last First Bus protest at the Queens Road depot – click here