London bus workers strike after talks break down

London bus workers strike after talks break down

06 September 2016

London bus workers at the bus operator Tower Transit are staging a second 24-hour stoppage today (Tuesday 6 September), over the imposition of roster changes and a failure by a hard line management to commit to constructive industrial relations.

The strike follows talks yesterday at the conciliation service Acas where agreement could not be reached. It will be the second stoppage in a dispute involving over 1,000 drivers, engineers and controllers at three depots across the Capital. 

A previous 24 hour strike on Friday 26 August led to services operating out of the Atlas Road bus depot in Park Royal, the Westbourne Park bus garage and the Lea interchange bus depot being dramatically reduced with 28 bus routes affected (see notes).

All three depots are once again involved in tomorrow’s stoppage which follows mounting frustration among workers, who are angry over a lack of consultation over roster changes which are leaving them out of pocket, as well as the non-payment of correct rest day working pay rates.

The strike is expected to affect services from the early hours of tomorrow as drivers scheduled to start their shifts stay away from work.

Commenting Unite regional officer Simon McCartney said: “We entered yesterday’s talks in a positive and constructive manner, yet Tower Transit refused to move on basic things such as a single collective bargaining forum for Unite members and trade union representation for individual members. 

“While some progress was made the commitments Unite needs to ensure this dispute does not repeat itself have not been provided. 

“Tower Transit could resolve this dispute with the stroke of a pen and by committing to genuine change in managerial practice rather than confrontational brinkmanship.

“This brinkmanship has left Tower Transit bus workers at the end of their tether and facing the imposition of changes to their rosters which leave them out of pocket and forced to rearrange their family life. To add insult to injury bus workers have also found themselves short changed when doing overtime on a rest day. 

“Our members take great pride in keeping London on the move and strike action is very much the last resort for them. We would urge Tower Transit management to start taking a constructive approach and engage in meaningful talks to avoid further disruption.”


For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869. 

Notes to editors:

  • U nite 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.

The routes and garages affected: 

  • Atlas Road bus depot
  • Atlas Road
  • Park Royal NW10 6DN
  • Routes 28, 31, 266, 328, N28 and N31 jointly with Westbourne Park garage. 
  • Westbourne Park Bus Garage 
  • Great Western Road 
  • London W9 3NW
  • Routes 23, 70 and N97 as well as sharing an allocation on routes 28, 31 and 328 with Atlas Road.
  • Lea Interchange bus depot
  • 151 Ruckholt Road
  • Leyton E10 5PB
  • Routes 25, 30, 58, 69, 212, 236, 308, 339, 425, 444, 488, RV1, W14, W15, N550 and N551