Unite chief urges mayor of London to build on ‘fairer ...

Unite chief urges mayor of London to build on ‘fairer deal’ for bus workers

09 February 2017

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey called on the mayor of London Sadiq Khan to build on the successful introduction of a minimum pay rate for London’s bus drivers, by working with Unite towards a harmonised London wide pay structure.

Addressing shop stewards from across the capital at Unite’s London bus workers conference today (Thursday 9 February), Mr McCluskey praised the mayor of London for working with Unite in taking the first step to fulfilling his promise of a fairer deal for London’s bus workers, but said there was still more work to do to end pay inequality on London’s buses.

The ‘ground-breaking’ package announced by the mayor before Christmas was the culmination of talks between Unite, Transport for London and London’s bus operators. 

As well as the introduction of a £23,000 minimum salary for bus drivers, the package sees the introduction of a ‘Licence for London’ from April allowing drivers to move between companies taking with them their qualifications and seniority. It also sees the roll out of a Unite led equality programme ensuring the diversity of the capital is reflected in all management grades of London’s bus companies.

Addressing shop stewards representing over 25,000 London bus drivers Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The package announced by the mayor of London Sadiq Khan before Christmas was testament to the tireless campaigning and determination of Unite members across the capital’s bus garages.

“It demonstrated what can be achieved when progressive politicians work well with trade unions to support positive industrial relations. This is the first move towards ending the farce of disparity in wages on London’s buses, the new minimum wage has created a floor below which wages cannot drop.

“The mayor of London’s first step in providing a fairer deal for the drivers of our capital’s iconic red buses should not be his last. There is still much more to do to iron out the pay inequalities that bus drivers, often driving the same roads, but for different bus operators, have had to endure since the chaos of privatisation was unleashed on London’s roads. 

“I urge Sadiq Khan to continue to listen to the thousands of drivers on one of the biggest bus networks in the world and help introduce a London wide pay structure that brings stability for bus workers and drives up standards for London’s bus passengers.”


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

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.