Socialist Worker

Industrial action due on London buses

by Esme Choonara
Issue No. 2072

Thousands of bus drivers at companies across London are heading towards industrial action over pay.

Unite union members from different companies in London met together on Thursday of last week to discuss their campaign for better pay across all London bus companies.

Workers at Arriva North recently voted by over two to one to reject an improved offer of a 4.5 percent immediate rise followed by an additional 0.5 percent in January.

Company

Drivers at the company are currently earning £10.68 an hour, significantly less than workers doing the same job at other large London companies such as Metroline, the East London Bus Company and First Group.

Mr Pathan, a Unite union rep at Arriva North, told Socialist Worker that drivers were right to reject the offer.

He said, “It is not a good deal. Living costs are rising at a much faster rate than 4.5 percent. Everyone knows their bills are going up at a much higher rate than the government’s stated inflation levels. Pay rises should reflect the real cost of living.

“They should also reflect the profits that the company makes out of the drivers.”

Arriva released figures last month stating that operating profits on its British bus services rose by 16 percent in the first six months of this year to hit £37.8 million.

The union is now waiting to see if management comes up with a better offer.

Unite union members at two companies in First Group and drivers at East London and Selkent have all voted for strikes in consultative ballots over the past few weeks.

The pay disputes could involve up to 12,000 bus workers across London.


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Tue 9 Oct 2007, 18:07 BST
Issue No. 2072
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