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Thousands of London bus workers to take strike action ...

Thousands of London bus workers to take strike action over pay freeze

28 November 2012

Over 2,000 bus drivers from nine garages across north London will take 24 hour strike action from 3am tomorrow (Thursday 29 November 2012) following Arriva North's decision not to award workers a percentage pay increase this year despite massive profits.

DB Group which owns Arriva PLC made €853.6 million in profit before tax in the half year to 30 June this year.

93 per cent of the drivers who took part in the ballot voted for strike action.

The drivers are already in the their second year of a pay freeze and from April next year the workers will enter a third year of pay freezes. Workers at the majority of London's bus operators have received increases this year as have TfL (Transport for London) staff across London.

Arriva North, the biggest single operator in London, attempted to prevent the legitimate strike through court action, but was forced to drop its case, following a strident defence of the workers' ballot by Unite's legal team.

One in 10 bus routes will be affected with the strike affecting north London but also a number of routes into central London, including the 29, 38, 73, 149 and 243.

Unite regional secretary Peter Kavanagh said: "Christmas is approaching in one of the most expensive cities in the world and London's biggest single bus operator is rewarding its drivers with a second year of percentage pay freezes.  Arriva's owners have made hundreds of millions in profits this year, so it's no wonder staff are taking strike action against their Scrooge employer
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"Rather than reach a negotiated settlement the operator even wasted time and money in a failed attempt to block the legitimate strike in the courts.

"Many other bus workers across London have received percentage increases this year as have TfL staff, yet Arriva North is refusing to reach a fair settlement. The blame for this dispute lies squarely with Arriva North and we urge the company to negotiate a fair deal or face further action."

ENDS

Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Notes to editors:

The garages affected include the following. There will be pickets at each of the garages.

Ash Grove, Mare Street, South Hackney, London E8 4RH
Barking, Ripple Road, Barking, IG11
Clapton, 15 Bohemia Place, Mare Street, London E8 1DU
Enfield, Southbury Road, Ponders End EN3 4HX
Lee Valley Garage, Leeside Road, Tottenham, London N17 0SG
Palmers Green, Regents Avenue, London N13 5UR
Stamford Hill, Rookwood Road, London N16 6SS
Tottenham, Philip Lane, High Cross, London N15 4JB
Wood Green, Jolly Butchers Hill, High Road, London N22 7TZ

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.