More than 2,000 London bus drivers begin three-day pay strike

Image courtesy @BusSafetyRep

More than 2,000 London bus drivers today begin a three-day strike over pay.

The Unite members are all employed by RTAP across three companies.

Workers at London United, which provides bus services in south and west London are taking action today, tomorrow and Wednesday over proposed that would see them face wage cuts of £2,500 which will reduce wages to 2015 levels.

Workers at Quality Line, based at its depot in Epsom, Surrey, are taking action today and tomorrow because they earn £2.50 an hour less than drivers at RATP’s other subsidiaries. The workers have been offered a derisory pay offer of 0.5% (seven pence an hour).

Unite members at London Sovereign, who operate services in north west London, are taking action today after being offered a pay rise of 0.75%. A further strike date has been announced for Wednesday 3 March.

Unite regional officer for RATP Michelle Braveboy said: “RATP remains hell-bent on using the pandemic as a convenient smokescreen to attack key worker terms and conditions which, if implemented, will see drivers at London United lose up to £2,500-a-year, when the cost of living in the capital is soaring.

“These are not temporary changes, but permanent ones that will see members suffer a substantial financial loss. The dispute regarding the zero contract hours has also not been resolved.

“Members at London Sovereign are angry at the derisory offer and the strength of feeling is the same for those at Quality Line who are still some of the lowest paid drivers on Transport for London (TFL) routes. The bosses should have used this opportunity to address the disparity in pay for all drivers at the Epsom garage.

“Our members have no option other than to fight back against these attacks, while recognising the disruption caused.

“They are reluctant to take strike action at a time of national emergency, but feel they have been pushed against the wall by hardline directors.

“Even at this late stage, RATP has the opportunity to avert the strikes by withdrawing the threat to terms and conditions, continuing the negotiations and making a fair offer to our members.”

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