Over 2,500 bus workers employed by Metroline in London have begun balloting for strike action in response to a 'pitiful’ pay offer by their employer.

Low pay offer

The workers have been offered a series of substandard pay offers with some drivers offered as little as 5.5 per cent, which is a huge real terms pay cut when the real rate of inflation (RPI) is currently 12.3 per cent.

Ballot papers were being issued from Monday 10 October, with the ballot closing on Friday 11 November. If the workers vote for strikes, industrial action could begin before the end of next month.

Strike action would affect bus routes across most of north and central London.

Fair offer needed

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: Metroline can fully afford to make its workers a fair pay offer, and it should do just that.

 “These workers are struggling to make ends meet, so Unite is certainly not going to accept a pay cut from owners who are already raking in huge profits.

 “Our members at Metroline will receive the union’s unflinching support throughout this dispute."

Low pay rates

Metroline bus drivers are increasingly struggling to keep their heads above water. Some drivers paid as little as £12.35 an hour.

The workers being balloted are employed by both of Metroline’s subsdiaries that operate in London, Metroline Travel and Metroline West. The bus depots where workers are being balloted for industrial action are: Brentford, Cricklewood, Edgware, Greenford, Harrow Weald, Holloway, Kings Cross, Lampton, Perivale, Potters Bar, Uxbridge, Wallingford Road, Willesden and Willesden Junction.

Metroline is owned by the giant ComfortDelGro, one of the world’s largest transport companies. In the first half of 2022 alone the company made £156 million ($175 million) in operating profits.

Disruption expected

Unite regional officer Laura Johnson said: “If members vote for strike action then it will inevitably lead to large-scale disruption across London but this dispute is entirely of Metroline’s own making. It has had every opportunity to make our members a fair pay offer but has chosen instead to offer a pitiful pay increase.”


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.