London bus talks urged as more strike dates are announced
28 January 2015
Britain’s largest union, Unite 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 today (Wednesday 28 January).
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 in January 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.
Commenting 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.
For further information please contact Douglas Beattie on 020 3371 2060, Pauline Doyle on 07976 832 861 or the Unite press office on 020 331 2065.
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.
Unite represents over 27,000 bus workers working for 18 bus companies who serve Greater London. These are: Arriva North, Arriva South, Selkent, London General, Metroline, Metroline West, Metrobus, CT Plus, London United, Abellio South, Abellio West, London Sovereign, Stagecoach, Blue Triangle, Northumberland Park, Tower Transit, Docklands and London Central.