by Tim Lezard Hundreds of bus drivers are today taking to the streets of London in a campaign to force an industry-wide pay deal that sees some of them earning 25% less than others doing the same job More than 25,000 Unite members, employed by a dozen …
Hundreds of bus drivers are today taking to the streets of London in a campaign to force an industry-wide pay deal that sees some of them earning 25% less than others doing the same job
More than 25,000 Unite members, employed by a dozen bus companies in the city, are demanding ‘sector wide negotiations’ between their union Unite and their employers to bring greater job security. The current system has led to many bus drivers being paid up to 25% less despite doing the same job for the same employer. The pay some bus drivers receive can be as little as £17,000 depending on the company they work for.
London bus companies are required to compete to win routes put out to tender by Transport for London. The explosion in competition has led to an unprecedented squeeze on the pay, terms and conditions of all bus workers, as individual bus companies choose to bid low to maximise profits at the expense of these dedicated workers.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “With decentralisation and the sell-off of routes, London’s bus drivers’ wages have taken a hit and vary drastically from company to company. It is madness – there ought to be a common, decent rate for the job.
“The drivers have had enough and demand these operators work with form Unite to bring some sense to this situation.
“Only a forum that bring employers and the workers to the table, through their union, is what will bring continued improvements to terms and conditions.”
Peter Kavanagh, London and Eastern regional secretary said: “London bus drivers keep this city on the move, delivering an ever improving and efficient service to around 6 million passengers every day. It is time we had a sensible arrangement for discussing pay and conditions to ensure all drivers are rewarded properly for their efforts.
“Currently, people driving the same buses, with the same training requirements and governed by the same regulations, are subject to the whims of twenty separate sets of negotiations, leading to more than twenty different rates of pay. We want, and we are determined to achieve, a sector wide bargaining arrangement for all of our 25,000 driver members.”
The drivers are marching from Bressenden Place via Victoria Street to Old Palace Yard in Westminster for a rally at 12.15pm.
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