Union urges bus bosses to get round the negotiating table

London-bus-strike-flag-310x1942Unite today urged London’s 18 bus operators to enter into collective talks to avoid the disruption of further strike action as it announced three 24 hour London-wide bus strikes.

The latest stoppages running from 00:01 to 23:59 hours on Thursday 5 February, Friday 13 February and Monday 16 February follow a continued refusal by London’s bus operators to enter into collective talks over ending unfair pay disparities.

A 24 hour London-wide bus strike earlier this month saw bus services across the capital brought to a standstill as over 20,000 bus workers walked out as part of a campaign to secure one collective forum to discuss agreement for pay and conditions for London’s bus workers.

Unite regional officer Wayne King said: “We have been working tirelessly in our efforts to bring the employers to the table to discuss a solution to this dispute.

“We firmly believe that there is a simple solution to be had but sadly the refusal by the operators to engage in collective talks is risking the inevitable disruption that strike action will bring to passengers.

“The travelling public understand that further strike action is the last resort and can be avoided if the operators agree to talk collectively about the pay chaos on London’s buses.

“Bus passengers pay one fare, so why don’t bus drivers get paid the same rate for doing the same job?

“We urge London’s bus operators to see sense and collectively engage in talks to give London’s bus workers a fair deal.”

In contrast to Tube drivers, there isn’t one collective pay deal for bus drivers in the capital, whose pay is negotiated on a company by company basis leading to pay inequality and disparities.

There are over 80 different pay rates covering London’s bus drivers, doing the same job, even driving the same route but for different rates of pay. Drivers’ pay can differ by £3 per hour, from £9.30 to £12.34.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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