Socialist Worker

London Metroline bus workers discuss wage campaign

by Esme Choonara
Issue No. 2091

Bus workers at Metroline in north and north west London were set to meet on Thursday to discuss the Unite union’s new campaign for a London wage for all bus workers.

Pay and conditions on London buses currently vary widely from company to company. Tendering for routes and the drive for profits means that companies compete to hold down wages and to increase workloads.

Unite is campaigning for a wage of £30,000 or an increase of 5 percent, whichever is higher, based on a 38-hour week.

The campaign for a London wage has been greeted with enthusiasm by many drivers.

Others have raised questions about how the campaign will be pursued. Last year there were pay battles in many companies where workers were balloted for strikes but where action was not called or was called off before the strike.

Mr Pathan, a Unite union rep at Arriva North, told Socialist Worker, “Talking is easy. It’s getting the money that’s the hard part. Some of us are willing to strike over pay, but some in the union seem more reluctant.

“The cost of living is rising fast. Food costs and fuel bills are rising much faster than the official rate of inflation. Housing costs are rising too. We won a 50p an hour pay rise last year. It is not enough to pay the rising cost of my mortgage, never mind my gas and electricity bills.”

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Tue 4 Mar 2008, 19:06 GMT
Issue No. 2091
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