London bus passengers are braced for a summer of bus chaos as over 1,700 bus drivers employed by Arriva have announced strike action in a dispute over pay.

The 1,700 plus bus drivers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have rejected a seven per cent pay increase. This is an effective real terms pay cut when the real inflation rate (RPI) is standing at 11.4 per cent.

The workers will undertake an initial two day strike on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 June followed by a further two days of strike on Tuesday 27 June and Wednesday 28 June. If the dispute isn’t resolved further strikes will be called.

The strikes will predominantly affect routes in North and East London. The bus garages the drivers operate from are Ash Grove, Barking, Clapton, Edmonton, Enfield, Palmers Green, Tottenham and Wood Green.

The drivers start on pay rates of just £13.65 an hour, which they report they cannot afford to live on in London.

Arriva is owned by Deutsche Bahn, one of the largest transport companies in the world and effectively owned by the German government. During the last 10 years, Arriva’s UK bus division has paid £560 million to Deutsche Bahn in Germany in profit transfers.

Over the last decade, Deutsche Bahn has paid dividends of £5 billion to the German government.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Arriva is an extremely wealthy company but it has got its priorities all wrong. It needs to be concentrating on paying its workers fairly rather than providing the German government with huge dividends.

“Unite is totally focussed on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the bus drivers at Arriva will receive the union’s complete support.”

Unite regional officer Steven Stockwell said: “The strike action is set to create travel chaos across London but this dispute is totally of Arriva’s own making. It has had every chance to make our members an offer that meets their expectations but has refused to do so.”


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.