London bus company Metroline announced this week that Transport for London has awarded the tender for the route 24, currently operated by Metroline, to another bus company.
Route 24 is one of the biggest bus routes operating out of the Holloway garage in north London. Over 70 drivers will be affected.
Bus companies often use the threat of losing routes to put pressure on workers to work harder and to encourage them to identify with the company.
Drivers at Metroline went on strike last year to win a decent pay rise. Metroline could have settled without a strike – they made £27 million profits in just three months last year.
London mayor Ken Livingstone didn’t make a statement in support of the Metroline workers when they struck. He hasn’t ended the system of competitive tendering between bus companies which encourages companies to drive down pay and conditions in order to compete for routes.
As one Metroline driver told Socialist Worker, “It is the disruption and the uncertainty of losing routes that gets to people. It is unnecessary. It is about bus companies lining their pockets with profits and Transport for London who seem only interested in saving money.”