Driving up pay for London’s bus drivers

BREAKING: Unite challenges London’s bus firms to Acas talks as planned action is postponed  (11 February 2015)

A message to Unite bus workers

Driving up pay for London's bus workers 1 London’s 27,000 bus drivers have voted to take strike action. This is not a decision taken lightly by a dedicated workforce who keep London running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But London’s bus drivers are fed up of being treated unfairly by their employers – London’s 18 different bus companies.

LATEST: The latest stoppages running from 00:01 to 23:59 hours took place on Thursday 5 February, and are scheduled for Friday 13 February and Monday 16 February 2015. They follow a continued refusal by London’s bus operators to enter into collective talks over ending unfair pay disparities. Full details on London bus talks urged as more strike dates are announced (28 Jan 2015) and why Leon Daniels needs to listen to the facts. TfL is also in danger of acting unlawfully over the bus strike and must confirm it is not interfering in the dispute

Many drivers on the same bus route working for the same bus company are being paid different salaries.  In contrast to tube drivers, London’s bus drivers are covered by 80 different pay rates leading to pay gaps of over £3 an hour opening up between people doing the same job.

Unite has been calling on the bus companies to get round the negotiating table and work out a single agreement that covers every bus drivers' pay and terms and conditions. But the bus companies have consistently refused any requests to try and fix inequalities between drivers. That's despite support from the public with two thirds (66%) of bus passengers polled in an independent survey saying they back the bus drivers fight. 

In order to drive home the message to their employers that they want a fair deal on pay bus drivers have had to resort to strike action. London's bus drivers took their first wave of action on Tuesday 13 January 2015. Watch the #BusStrike video showing all the action on the day.

One fare for passengers – why not one rate of pay for bus drivers!


Bus drivers pay and terms and conditions are suffering because there is no single employer and no sector wide collective bargaining.

Driving up pay for London's bus workers 2As its stands Unite must hold 18 separate pay negotiations with 18 separate bus companies. This does not work. It is time consuming, bureaucratic and breeds inequality.

Currently bus routes are put out to tender by TfL every five years and bus companies must compete to win them. The competition has led to a squeeze on bus drivers pay and terms and conditions as bus companies bid low to maximise profits at the expenses of workers.

Only a forum that brings employers and the workers to the table, through their union, will bring continued improvements to terms and conditions. 

That’s why it’s so important that every bus driver from every bus operator stands together in this campaign. It’s the only way to really show the solidarity of our drivers and how strong they are together despite having a wedge driven between them by the actions of the companies.


Send a message of solidarity to London's bus workers taking action over pay differentials