Over 2,000 bus drivers employed by Metroline will take seven days of strike action next month due to a dispute over low pay.\

Low pay rates

The drivers, some of whom are as paid as little as £13.13 an hour by the Singapore-based company, are struggling to keep their heads above water during the cost of living crisis.

The company’s latest offer of a 10 per cent pay increase and nine per cent on back pay was rejected by the workforce, as it amounted to a real terms pay cut with the real inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at 14.2 per cent.

The Metroline workers will be striking on 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 15 and 16 December.

Co-ordinated action

The first three days of the industrial action (1,2 and 3 December) will be co-ordinated with Abellio bus drivers in South and West London who have a separate industrial dispute over pay

Wealthy company

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Metroline is an exceptionally wealthy company and it is unforgivable that it is paying among the lowest driver pay rates in London.

“Rates of pay at Metroline are so low that workers simply can’t cope as the cost of living crisis continues to worsen. This is a company that can afford to pay but has chosen not to do so.

“Our bus driver members in London are receiving Unite’s complete support.”

Garages affected

The drivers taking industrial action are based at the following bus garages: Brentford, Cricklewood, Edgware, Harrow Weald, Holloway, King’s Cross, Lampton, Perivale, Potter’s Bar and Willseden,

Metroline’s parent company ComfortDelGro is exceptionally wealthy. It posted six month earnings of $118.7 million earlier this year and cited the sale of the company’s Alperton garage (North West London) as a key factor in its success. Rather than boost workers’ pay, the company instead used its earnings to increase shareholder dividends.

Severe disruption

Unite regional officer Laura Johnson said: “Strike action will undoubtedly cause severe disruption across London but this dispute is entirely of Metroline’s own making.

“The company has had every opportunity to address low pay rates and it has failed to understand that workers will not accept a pay cut disguised as an increase.”

Fighting and winning

Unite national lead officer Onay Kasab said: “Unite is fighting and winning for our bus members. We are determined to win these two campaigns (Abellio and Metroline). Unite will take the necessary action to win for its members, including bringing together and uniting campaigns to demand pay justice.”


Notes to editors

London Metroline bus workers begin strike ballot over ‘pitiful’ pay offer

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.