Over 950 bus drivers employed by Abellio in South and West London will take 10 days of strike action in a pay dispute.

Company failure

The dispute is a result of the company failing to enter into meaningful pay talks, despite indicating that it was prepared to do so. Workers’ pay is due to increase from January 2023, but Abellio has failed even to make an initial pay offer.

The workers will begin strike action on Tuesday 22 November and will also strike on the 25, 26 of this month. They will be followed by further strikes on 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 December.

Wealthy company

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Abellio is a vastly wealthy multinational company that could and should be paying its workers a fair pay increase. With workers struggling to cope with rampant inflation, Abellio’s failure to even enter into meaningful pay talks is coldhearted and callous.

“Unite is now entirely focused on defending and enhancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the bus drivers at Abellio will be receiving the union’s complete support.”

Areas affected

The bus drivers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are based at garages in Battersea, Beddington, Hayes, Southall, Twickenham and Walworth.

Despite inviting Unite to pay talks in September, in order to begin negotiations at the company’s request, Unite has had no further response from Abellio regarding the pay claim. 

The company is paying among the lowest rates for bus drivers in London, which is creating a severe retention crisis. Unite understands that the company is only managing to maintain its schedules due to a huge reliance on overtime, making its operations unsustainable.

Widespread disruption

Unite regional officer Guy Langston: “The strike action will cause widespread disruption across the London bus network, most notably in South and West London, but this dispute is entirely of Abellio’s own making. It has had every opportunity to enter into meaningful pay negotiations, but it has chosen not to do so.”

 “The delay in offering a pay increase is causing extreme distress to the workers who are increasingly struggling to make ends meet and pay even for the basics.”


For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

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.