Bus services across London face severe disruption later this month, as bus drivers employed by Arriva announce strike action due to the company’s failure to make an acceptable pay offer.

South London depots 

The 1,000 drivers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are employed at depots in Brixton, Croydon, Norwood and Thornton Heath. They operate routes across south and central London.

The first 24 hour strike will take place on Monday 21 March and a further 48 hour strike is scheduled for 28 March. If there is no breakthrough in the dispute then further industrial action will be announced.

Pathetic offer

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Arriva’s pay offer is pathetic and it is an insult to bus drivers who continued to work throughout the pandemic risking their health to ensure London could continue to function.

 “Our bus drivers at Arriva will have Unite’s full support until the company makes a realistic pay offer and this dispute is resolved.”

Real terms pay cut

Arriva has offered the workers a pay offer of just 1.5 per cent, which in reality is a sizeable pay cut with the real level of inflation (retail price index) currently standing at 7.8 per cent.

The drivers delivered a resounding yes vote in favour of industrial action with over 95 per cent supporting strikes.


Unite regional officer John Murphy said: “The strikes will cause considerable disruption to bus passengers throughout London and Kent but this dispute is entirely of Arriva’s own making. Arriva has had every chance to make a fair pay offer but has chosen not to do so.

 “Even at this late stage delays and disruption across London can be avoided if Arriva is prepared to make a realistic pay offer and returns to the negotiating table.”

Kent and Essex resolved

The proposed disputes involving Arriva workers at the Dartford and Grays depots have been resolved after the drivers accepted improved pay offers.


Notes to editors:

London, Essex and Kent braced for bus delays as Arriva drivers ballot for strikes over ‘pitiful’ pay offer

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

 For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.